CCP research cited in CMA issues statement on GB energy markets

Research undertaken by two CCP members has been referenced in the Competition and Market Authority’s updated issues statement as it continues its on-going investigation into British energy markets.

A CCP Working Paper by Professor Catherine Waddams (CCP & Norwich Business School) and Dr Minyan Zhu (CCP & Nottingham University Business School) is cited by the CMA in relation to the impact of the introduction of the Standard Licence Condition 25A (the SLC 25A non-discrimination clause) in 2009. The paper, ‘Pricing in the UK retail energy market 2005-2013‘, found that the non-discrimination clause prompted an adverse effect on competition in the energy market after its inception. An abstract for the paper can be found below.

UK governments and the energy regulator have shown increasing concern about the health of competition in the residential energy market, following their pioneering deregulation at the end of the last century. We identify the effects of introducing the non-discrimination clauses in 2009, a major regulatory intervention and the first since deregulation. We explore the effect of this intervention on the price movements of the six major players, and find that the nature of competition in the industry has changed, with less effective rivalry between the regional incumbents and large regional competitors following the intervention; companies seem to have ‘retreated’ to their home regions, leaving a market where pricing behaviour resembles more closely a duopoly between British Gas and the regional incumbent.

See also:

Catherine Waddams, ‘Is an in-depth energy market inquiry worth it?‘ (March 27, 2014) Competition Policy Blog.

Morten Hviid & Catherine Waddams, ‘Non-discrimination Clauses in the Retail Energy Sector‘ (2012) 122 The Economic Journal 236-252.

Amelia Fletcher awarded OBE for services to Competition and Consumer Economics in the New Year honours list 2014

Amelia Fletcher CCP is delighted to learn that Amelia Fletcher was awarded OBE for services to Competition and Consumer Economics in the New Year honours list 2014.  This is a well-deserved recognition of the work Amelia has put in over the years to help markets work better for consumers.  

We are very pleased that she brings this recognised expertise to work on similar issues within CCP.

New Competition Commission Members from ESRC CCP Advisory Board

Congratulations to our Advisory Board members Sarah Chambers and Professor Stephen Littlechild, who were announced as new panel members of the Competition Commission by Consumer Minister Jo Swinson on the 10th April.

Competition Commission panel members are selected and appointed for their experience, ability and diversity of skills in competition economics, law, finance and industry.  The Competition Commission is an independent public body which carries out in-depth inquiries into mergers, markets and the regulation of the major regulated industries.

The ESRC CCP Advisory Board provides strategic guidance and advice to ensure CCP achieves its scientific aims and objectives.  The Board brings together leaders in the field who have practical and academic expertise.

For further information, please see the Competition Commission announcement:

Coverage of Appointment of Amelia Fletcher

The Times, 18th January 2013, p38Times coverage of Amelia Fletcher appointment

Online coverage can be found on Bloomberg, Global Competition Review (GCR), Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News.

CCP in the news: Crack The Gas Price Puzzle

Originally appearing in the Sunday Telegraph (21st October 2012), Catherine Waddams was mentioned in this piece:

CRACK THE GAS PRICE PUZZLE; Identifying the best deal has long been a struggle. But the Prime Minister and regulators have pledged to shake things up. – Power Engineering.

Reviews of “The Concept of Abuse in EU Competition Law”

Earlier this year Dr Pinar Akman published her book “The Concept of Abuse in EU Competition Law: Law and Economic Approaches“. CCP held a launch party and now we have a couple of reviews to share with you.

Tom Sharpe posts his thoughts here and Peter Freeman shares his views here, both on the Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog.

Have You Been Ripped Off By A Cartel?

Some of our PhD students took part in UEA’s 2012 PGR Showcase at the Forum in Norwich. This is the poster designed and presented by Richard Havell and Frederick Wandschneider. You can see them in action (briefly) in this clip from Anglia TV (01:22 in) and below.