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Competition and innovation in payments: An analysis of market functioning and innovation

VocaLink commissioned Oxera to provide a review of the opportunities for greater competition and innovation in payment systems in the UK, in the context of VocaLink’s own vision for change in the UK payments landscape. The report will be used as evidence to inform the PSR’s market review into the ownership and competitiveness of the provision of infrastructure services. 


Governance and ownership of payments systems infrastructure

VocaLink commissioned Oxera to provide an independent review of potential governance and ownership models for VocaLink. In the context of expected changes in the payments market and the risks these present to VocaLink, Oxera was asked to examine the extent to which these risks can be mitigated by alternative governance and ownership models.


Indexation of future price controls in the water sector

In this report for Ofwat, Oxera considers the potential benefits and costs of different indexation options. The options range from no change, a change to the indexation of revenues only, a change to the indexation of both revenues and the regulatory capital value (RCV), and options which involve different proportions of the RCV continuing to be linked to the retail price index (RPI). 


Oxera’s assessment of the economic contribution of the rail industry in Scotland

The rail sector has an important role in providing employment and ensuring long-term benefits to the Scottish economy. Oxera was asked by Transport Scotland and the Rail Delivery Group to quantify this whole-industry impact, presenting a variety of metrics that assess the sector’s contribution today, and how that contribution has increased since devolution of rail powers to the Scottish Government in 2005.

The report builds on Oxera’s work for the Rail Delivery Group in 2014 and 2015 on the contribution to the UK economy of the GB rail sector.


Impact assessment of the CMA’s options for increasing on-rail competition

Oxera, together with Arup, has prepared an assessment for the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) of the expected impact of four options proposed by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) for increasing on-rail competition between passenger services in Great Britain:

  • Option 1: increasing the role of open access operators (OAO), alongside franchises;

  • Option 2: having two competing franchise operators in each franchise area;

  • Option 3: having more overlapping franchises, such that there is more scope for on-rail competition between franchises;

  • Option 4: licensing multiple operators on each route.


Oxera identifies economic welfare improvement of £11m from activities of a visiting and befriending charity

The St Vincent de Paul Society approached Oxera through Pro Bono Economics to assist it in understanding the economic effects of the SVP’s activities, which include voluntary services such as visiting and befriending.


A review of the Jersey regulatory and competition framework

Conducting competition and regulatory policy well is hard, but the economic benefits can be substantial. In small-island economies, such as Jersey, competition policy, and regulation where competition is not possible, faces particular challenges. However, it is just as important that markets work well as it is in larger economies.

The States of Jersey set up the Jersey Competition and Regulatory Authority (JCRA) as a regulatory body in 2001 and as a general competition authority in 2005. The Government of Jersey commissioned Oxera to review the JCRA and the regulatory and competition framework applied in Jersey. 


What are the benefits of online platforms?

There has been increasing political and regulatory interest in the role of platforms in Europe’s digital economy. In May 2015 the European Commission published its strategy to develop a Digital Single Market for Europe. As part of its strategy, the Commission has committed to analyse the role of online platforms. In this context, Google asked Oxera to consider how online platforms could be defined, and to assess how both consumers and businesses interact with, and benefit from, online platforms.

This report contributes to this debate by answering two key questions: 
what is the definition of an online platform? 
what value do online platforms provide to European consumers and businesses? 


Gatwick expansion best for economy as Airports Commission’s mistakes are exposed

  • Reports by Deloitte and Oxera identify serious concerns with economic analysis in the Airports Commission report
  • Adjusting Airports Commission analysis using accepted Government methodology overturns conclusion that Heathrow expansion generates greater net value for the UK
  • Gatwick generates best return for UK, Heathrow net value to the UK halved 
The economic benefit (net present value) generated by Heathrow expansion would more than halve if the direct benefits enjoyed by international transfer passengers who never set foot in the UK - or generate a penny for the economy - are removed from the calculations, according to separate reports commissioned by Gatwick Airport from Deloitte and Oxera. 


Peer review of First Interim Evaluation of High Speed 1

The Department for Transport (DfT) commissioned Oxera Partner, Andrew Meaney [1], to carry out a peer review of the First Interim Evaluation of High Speed 1 (HS1) report prepared by Atkins, AECOM and Frontier Economics  [2]. The scope of his review focused on the approach and methodology described in the report and Appendices. It did not include a detailed audit of the models or other spreadsheets underlying the report.

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