2014: a regulation odyssey

With the latest set of price control determinations for GB electricity distribution companies, NATS (en route services), England and Wales water companies, and (separately) Scottish Water due before the end of 2014, the current UK regulatory cycle is drawing to a close. What trends have emerged from the latest round of determinations, and what do they mean for regulators, companies and their customers?

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Most-favoured-nation clauses: falling out of favour?

Competition authorities across the globe are investigating most-favoured-nation (MFN) clauses in distribution contracts in industries as diverse as hotel bookings, books and insurance. Such clauses guarantee to a distributor that no other distributor will receive a better deal. Although there is concern that they may restrict competition and harm consumers, MFNs can also deliver benefits. How should competition authorities strike a balance?

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Deep impact: assessing wider economic impacts in transport appraisal

Wider economic impacts (WEIs) in transport demonstrate the additional benefits to the economy from particular projects, and form part of an assessment of the total value for money provided by new transport schemes. While estimating WEIs is important, various approaches are available and estimation is not always straightforward. What are the different methodologies that can be used to quantify these effects, and what are their relative advantages and disadvantages?

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Out of the (banking) frying pan and into the (CCP) fire?

How to deal with financial institutions that are ‘too big to fail’ has been at the heart of the debate on financial services regulation since the most recent crisis. But could the growing importance of central counterparties (CCPs) in financial transactions be creating a new set of such institutions? Understanding the economics of these institutions is vital for exploring whether regulation is actually making the financial system safer

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