Reform of Article 82: where the link between dominance and effects breaks down (revisited)

Originally published in May 2005. 2015 commentary by Oxera The reform of Article 82 is high on the EU competition policy agenda. Many commentators are of the view that abuse of dominance cases should move away from the current form-based approach to an effects-based approach. This article explores one of the fundamental shortcomings of the current approach—the use of dominance determinations as a shortcut to infer anticompetitive effects

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The net neutrality debate: the end of the world (wide web) as we know it? (revisited)

Originally published in September 2006. 2015 commentary by Oxera Do regulators need to impose constraints on the pricing structure of Internet service providers to foster competition, investment and innovation? For content providers such as Yahoo! and Amazon, the answer is yes; for infrastructure and Internet service providers such as AT&T and Deutsche Telekom, the answer is no. This article reviews the economic underpinnings of both sides of the ‘net neutrality’ debate, and asks: does Europe need net neutrality regulation?

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Behavioural economics, competition and remedy design (revisited)

Originally published in November 2010. 2015 commentary by Oxera Marketers know that people’s perceptions and decision-making abilities can be manipulated by external influences, and behavioural economics has also sought to take such issues on board. However, only more recently have policymakers begun to examine closely what behavioural economics means for biases in consumer behaviour, how these can lead to competition problems, and how remedies can be designed to help markets work better

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Profitability analysis and competition policy (revisited)

Originally published in April 2005. 2015 commentary by Oxera Professor Paul Geroski, Chairman of the UK Competition Commission, explains why profitability analysis is of importance to competition policy. He discusses various applications of what is, in essence, backward-looking profitability analysis to mergers and market investigations, and then explores the scope for using forward-looking profitability analysis in merger investigations

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Menu regulation: is it here to stay? (revisited)

Originally published in January 2008. 2015 commentary by Oxera Menu regulation is an innovative system in which companies are presented with a choice of regulatory contracts. Within its current methodology consultation, Ofwat, the England & Wales water regulator, is considering the introduction of menu regulation in the sector, meaning that there will be three sectors in the UK in which it will be applied: water, gas distribution and electricity distribution. What are the challenges of this new regulatory approach?

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Dealing with doping: a question of the benchmark (revisited)

Originally published in July 2008. 2015 commentary by Oxera After a number of years of the Tour de France being marred by doping scandals, this year’s doping incidents suggest that the stakes involved are so high that for some it continues to be worthwhile to illegally boost their performance, despite the risks involved. What is the case for and against a more accurate drug-testing regime, and how can this be related to performance comparisons in general?

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Which WACC when? A cost of capital puzzle (revisited)

Originally published in September 2005. 2015 commentary by Oxera Real or nominal? Pre-tax or post-tax? (Or even vanilla?) The number of ‘flavours’ for calculating the weighted average cost of capital is sometimes bewildering. It is often assumed that they all reach more or less the same conclusion, but is this always the case? Contrary to common belief among practitioners, different styles of calculation have a material impact on the value of cash flow to investors

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Living with price regulation: how do the best companies do it? (revisited)

Originally published in January 2010. 2015 commentary by Mike Toms It is now increasingly common for sectoral regulators to review periodically their organisation and process for determining price controls. But with regulation being the biggest single determinant of profitability in most regulated industries, shouldn’t companies also think hard about their management of the regulatory process? Mike Toms, Non-executive Director of Oxera, and former Planning and Regulation Director of BAA, gives his views on how regulated companies should organise themselves to respond to the regulatory process

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