A second big bang in brokerage? The new regime in softing and bundling

The UK was the first EU Member State to introduce new rules for soft commission and bundled brokerage arrangements (2006). The impact was predicted by some to be the second ‘big bang’ for the brokerage sector (the first big bang being the abolition of the fixed commissions in the 1980s). This article analyses new industry data and provides an assessment of the effects of the new regime.

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Hedging your bets: why pay over the odds for forward electricity?

Markets for forward contracts and other derivatives are necessary to enable firms to manage their risk exposures. But are these markets efficient? Álvaro Cartea, Oxera Associate and Visiting Professor at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, and Oxera show how measuring the costs of forward purchasing of electricity, and assessing the drivers of these costs, can provide valuable insights for policy-makers, market participants, and prospective entrants alike.

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Supermarket mergers: holding on to market share under competition scrutiny

In July 2008 the Co-operative Group Limited entered into a merger agreement with Somerfield Limited, worth £1.5 billion. Surveys undertaken as part of the merger review (carried out by the Office of Fair Trading) involved more than 400 stores and over 40,000 customers throughout the UK. As a result of the investigation, the merged entity had to divest 133 of 210 outlets at risk. What lessons can be learned from this case, and how can it help other merger parties hold on to their market share?

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