For the fifth consecutive year, an Oxera Partner has been recognised as a leading figure within competition economics in the GCR awards, in the Economist of the Year category. Dr Gunnar Niels has been nominated in recognition of his contribution to numerous high-profile cases in 2014. During this period Gunnar advised Liberty Global on the European Commission inquiry into its acquisition of Ziggo; provided economic advice to a bank in the European Commission Article 101 investigation into the credit default swaps market; acted as the court-appointed expert in an abuse of dominance case involving gas contracts; was the economic adviser to Skyscanner during its successful appeal of the OFT’s commitments Decision in the online hotel bookings market; and provided advice to a major retailer in relation to an OFT investigation into retail price maintenance.
Oxera has received further recognition in the GCR awards for its role in helping National Grid to achieve a settlement from the gas-insulated switchgear cartel. This case, the largest and most complex cartel litigation ever seen in Europe, has been nominated in the categories of Litigation of the Year – Cartel Prosecution and Matter of the Year. Oxera, led by Dr Helen Jenkins and Robin Noble, acted as expert economists for National Grid, which sought damages against four defendants—Alstom, ABB, Siemens and Areva—following a European Commission finding of a breach of Article 101 TFEU. Oxera calculated how much had been spent on switchgear during the cartel period (1988 to 2004), the size of the overcharge, the extent to which the overcharge had been passed on to electricity consumers in the form of higher charges, and interest payable. The case was settled before going to trial.
Finally, Oxera Economics Council member, Professor Sir John Vickers, has been nominated in the Academic Excellence Award category in recognition of his role as a leading authority on competition in financial services, and his ability to step between the worlds of academia, government and commerce.
These nominations recognise the consistently outstanding contributions made by Oxera to the field of competition economics. Voting for the GCR awards remains open until 23 February and can be accessed here.