South African Airways has been fined for operating an exclusionary loyalty rebate scheme with travel agents. The latest in a series of international cases concerning such schemes, this is one of the first successful prosecutions to rely on showing the effects of loyalty rebates on competition
Shareholder rights are a matter for corporate governance, providing checks and balances so that company management is subject to proper oversight. Among the impediments to shareholders playing an effective role as owners are special control rights, or ‘golden shares’, retained by governments in privatised companies. What are these impediments, and how important are they?
In June, the European Commission launched sector competition inquiries into financial services and energy. The first such inquiry since modernisation relates to sports services over 3G mobile telephony networks. The methodology and preliminary results of that inquiry were recently made public, and contain some relevant lessons for future inquiries
Regulators face difficult challenges in allocating indirect costs such as overheads and network costs. One method of doing so, equi-proportionate mark-up, has recently been adopted in the telecoms sector. Based on this precedent, Postcomm, the UK postal services regulator, has concluded that it is also appropriate for the postal sector. Is this the case?
As the demand for flights continues to grow, there is increasing concern about congestion at airports and the noise and emissions produced by aircraft. Airport charges can play a key role in ensuring that existing infrastructure is used efficiently, and in encouraging airlines to use quieter and less-polluting planes.
The 2004 water industry price control review, and the parallel review in the electricity distribution industry, tackled important issues that are relevant for the future of utility regulation in the UK in these sectors and more widely. Keith Palmer, NM Rothschild & Son and Cambridge Economic Policy Associates, and Hannah Nixon, Cambridge Economic Policy Associates, discuss the lessons that can be learnt.
Since the publication in 2004 of Oxera’s study on over-indebtedness in the UK, consumer borrowing has continued to rise, passing the £1 trillion threshold, and the level of household debt continues to make the headlines. Yet the latest data does not suggest that current levels of indebtedness are unsustainable. What are the recent trends in indebtedness and what progress have the government and the banking community made in this area in the past year?
Following the debate over the fierce price war between supermarkets in the Netherlands, the Dutch government has announced its decision not to introduce a rule that would prevent retailers from selling below the purchase price. Several other European countries do have such a rule in place. This article explores the economic effects of minimum price rules and discusses the existing empirical evidence, including a study by Oxera.
In light of the current debate surrounding the future of electricity generation in the UK, Oxera has developed an investment model to determine the conditions under which private investors could finance a new fleet of nuclear power stations
Julian Franks, Professor of Finance, London Business School, and Oxera Director, explains how recent research into bankruptcy codes reveals significant and sometimes unexpected differences between bankruptcy procedures in the UK and those of other countries.