Competition Policy & Utility Regulation

Competition, like fire, is a great servant and a terrible master. This section describes the UK competition regime, and discusses what works well, and what doesn't.


The Five Instruments

Competition authorities have access to five weapons in their fight to maintain competition:-

  1. Cartels
  2. Abuse of Dominant Position
  3. Merger Control
  4. Market Studies & Investigations
  5. Utility Regulation

Apart from in the case of cartels or unlawful state aid, competition authorities can seldom intervene unless they can show that one or more of their target companies has a certain degree of market power, and this in turn requires the authority to define the relevant market in which the power may be exercised.  One of the best introductions to market definition was written by John Davies when he led the Mauritius Competition Commission.  You can read it here.

Identifying a competition problem is often only half the battle.  Here is some advice about

Policy Questions


International Competition Regimes. 

Follow these links to read:


Martin Stanley

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