Do investors hold the key to changing the purpose of business?

A monthly podcast debating what it means to go Beyond the Bottom Line. Featuring Oxera experts and leaders in business and finance. Tim Jenkinson, Professor of Finance and Director of the Private Equity Institute at Saïd Business School, Oxford University, and Partner at Oxera, says that the decisions of asset managers are being driven by asset owners, and asks if those owners are prepared to make the kinds of trade-off required to fundamentally change the purpose of a business. Investors continue to be comfortable with the idea of making short-run versus long-run trade-offs by investing in companies that have long-term sustainable business, but the difficulty arises when there are potential trade-offs in profitability.

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Labour markets: a blind spot for merger control?

Recent months have seen increased discussion of merger control in Europe. One central question is whether the impact on labour markets should be examined directly, or indirectly in terms of product market concentration. We shed light on the main arguments in this debate, and discuss some of the challenges that would be faced by competition authorities if they were to consider labour markets concentration in their merger assessments

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EU broadband: co-investing in a faster future

Rolling out very high-capacity networks (VHCNs) across Europe to deal with ever-increasing broadband demands is challenging. To incentivise investment, the European Commission has introduced new conditions relating to co-investment agreements, including a promise (subject to certain conditions) not to regulate SMP operators that enter into an investment agreement with at least one other operator. Peter Culham, Senior Adviser, Felipe Flórez Duncan, Partner, and Michael Weekes, Senior Consultant, ask: is it enough to unlock investment in VHCNs?

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Beyond the Bottom Line

What society expects from business is evolving rapidly. New business models mean that intermediaries are being removed and traditional value chains are being disrupted. Advances in AI and automation are having profound effects on employment. Communities are exerting enormous...

Letter from the editor

Dear reader,  Since launching Agenda as a monthly publication in 2005, it has been our ambition to provide you with engaging and relevant insights underpinned by economics as it applies to business, markets, law and regulation.

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Blinded by the sun: the future of renewables disputes

The deployment of renewable energy technologies looks set to continue to grow. However, it can be challenging to integrate these technologies into existing policy frameworks and energy systems. Renewables have also been prone to legal disputes, as illustrated by recent cases brought against the Spanish government. As such disputes become more commonplace, a range of economic, financial and public policy issues will need to be examined

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New kid (needed) on the block? Vertical Block Exemption Regulation in the digital age

The recent rise of ecommerce has triggered debate around vertical agreements between suppliers and distributors/retailers. Against this backdrop, is the European Commission’s current Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER) still fit for purpose, or should it be revised? Do its Guidelines on Vertical Restraints (VGL) also need to change? Drawing on Oxera’s response to the Commission’s 2019 consultation, we discuss a few areas where revision and further guidance might be welcome

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Water sector draft determinations: a stocktake

Ofwat’s July 2019 draft determinations for water companies in England and Wales signal that the regulator is toughening its stance on allowed returns, cost efficiency and performance incentives. Credit rating agencies have provided their own thoughts on what this means for the sector. We go under the bonnet to explore the detail

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