Small number, big impact: the productivity factor for energy networks in Germany

The German Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur, BNetzA) is currently determining the general productivity factor (Xgen) for all electricity and gas networks in Germany. This factor is intended to reflect the productivity gains that an efficient network operator would be expected to achieve as a result of technological progress or cheaper inputs. In a project for Germany’s utility association, BDEW, Oxera used advanced methods to calculate a general productivity factor for German energy networks of around 0% 

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Should we be cross about cross-subsidies? Experience from the financial services sector

Cross-subsidies, where one group of consumers pays a higher amount so that the price paid by another group can be reduced, are common in many markets. But the practice may raise concerns about whether firms are exploiting those consumers who pay more, and can lead to calls for competition authorities or regulators to intervene. How might we assess whether cross-subsidies represent a problem? We look at examples from the consumer credit sector

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Return to sender: the General Court’s judgment on UPS/TNT

The EU General Court has aned the European Commission’s decision to block the UPS/TNT parcels merger. The Court was concerned that the parties were not given access to the final version of the Commission’s econometric model. This case highlights the importance of transparency in relation to economic evidence—not only from the merging parties, but also from the competition authorities

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Time to choose: retail market opening in the water sector

One of the biggest shake-ups in the English water sector will take place on 1 April 2017, when non-domestic customers—including businesses and public sector organisations—will be able to choose their retail supplier. But is the sector prepared? Will market opening be a ‘big bang’ or a slow-burner? And will companies play by the rules?

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