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Digital Single Market strategy: first impressions

The European Commission has a vision for a Digital Single Market (DSM) in which, irrespective of their nationality or place of residence, individuals and businesses can seamlessly access products and services online, under conditions of fair competition while maintaining a high level of consumer and personal data protection.

Announced on 6 May 2015, the Commission's strategy introduces a framework for realising the DSM, which is expected to promote innovation, growth and jobs throughout Europe. Alongside this strategy, a separate, but complementary, sector inquiry will focus on barriers to cross-border trade set up by companies supplying goods and services online.


Response to CMA consultation document: guidance on the CMA’s approval of voluntary redress scheme

The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) recently published guidance about how a new form of compensation scheme might operate in the UK for firms and individuals that have been harmed by breaches of competition law. The new scheme is voluntary and would involve the creation of an independent board to oversee the quantification of harm and distribution of compensation. Oxera has reviewed the CMA’s guidance regarding how such a scheme would be approved. 


How are Internet start-ups affected by liability for user content?

What is the economic impact of safe harbours on Internet intermediary start-ups?

Internet intermediaries facilitate the free flow of information online by assisting users to find, share and access content and by providing spaces in which they can interact. Intermediaries can be defined as businesses or platforms that facilitate the consumption, use and dissemination of content, and (social or business) interactions between Internet users, such as Internet service providers, web hosts, search engines, social networks, and ecommerce platforms. 


Economic effects of Virgin Media’s investment in network expansion (1)

Virgin Media’s investment will have a combined effect of £7.7bn on the economy, consumers and businesses.


Regulating remuneration systems: effective distribution of financial products

How to pay for financial advice and the distribution of financial products? This question has recently drawn public attention as EU policymakers discuss the issue in the context of the Insurance Mediation Directive (IMD2)—a new set of rules for the European insurance sector—and the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID), which aims to harmonise rules for investment services.  


The retirement income market: comparative international research

As part of its market study into retirement income, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the UK conduct regulator for financial services, commissioned Oxera to conduct an international comparison of retirement income markets. This report presents our findings.  


Could trains overtake planes? Exploring the future of the passenger aviation industry

PA Consulting and Oxera have undertaken research to examine how passenger aviation might look in the future. Four possible scenarios have been developed which could change the face of the sector: Destination Anywhere World, Nouveau Jet-Set World, Sky-Party World, and Hop-On Hop-Off World. Each one explores how the industry might look in 2034. Find out more on the PA Consulting website or download the full report below.


Reasonable commercial terms for market data services

The European Commission Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II) will require trading platforms to make pre- and post-trade market data available on a ‘reasonable commercial basis’. The Commission has invited ESMA (European Securities & Markets Authority) to provide technical advice on what constitutes a ‘reasonable commercial basis’. 


What is the contribution of rail to the UK economy?

By most measures, the GB rail sector is a success. Over the last 20 years, since the creation of the new industry model (in which rail freight services are operated by competing freight operating companies, passenger rail services are specified by the government and delivered by train operating companies, and first Railtrack—and now Network Rail—have managed the infrastructure, regulated by the Office of Rail Regulation), the number of passenger journeys has risen, and now stands at 115% higher than it was 20 years ago.1 The distance travelled by trains has increased by 36% over the same period, and there has been an improvement in safety and an increase in passenger satisfaction.2 There has also been a 70% increase over this time period in the amount of freight transported by rail.3


Input methodologies

Where in a range should the weighted average cost of capital (WACC) be set? In New Zealand, the Commerce Commission is required to set formal rules for the choice of WACC over time. Based on an assessment that the risks of setting the WACC too high were greater than the risks of setting it too low, the Commerce Commission chose to allow a WACC premium representing a point from above the middle of its range (the ‘75th percentile’).

Following a Court decision resulting from a legal challenge, the Commerce Commission is seeking analysis on whether its approach is consistent with the evidence of the scale of risks arising from the choice of WACC. Having reviewed the evidence, Oxera has concluded that there is evidence that a premium would be appropriate. For electricity, our report presents a range of evidence, and proposes options for the Commerce Commission to use in its response to the Court’s decision. 

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