A brief glimpse of the first 4,000 years of regulation may be found here.
This web page, under construction, will summarise the main developments in regulation and deregulation from around 1980 to date.
The 1983 Littlechild Report established the institutional basis for regulating the post-privatisation telecommunications industry, and set the pattern for future utility regulation. Regulation was then seen as a means of 'holding the fort' until competition arrived. When it became clear that this and other forms of regulation were not going to wither away,, successive governments took the view that regulation was an unwelcome constraint on wealth creation and should b stripped back as far as possible, hence many years of deregulation and better regulation.
There was a time when business people were sent to prison for selling goods below the prices set by manufacturers. The subsequent development of competition law through to 2003 is nicely summarised in a lecture by Peter Freeman.