COVID-19: a ‘material adverse change’ for merger remedies?

Instead of blocking a merger, competition authorities across Europe and beyond may ask for commitments to address competition concerns with the concentration. In these cases, writes Oxera Partner Maurice de Valois Turk, the merger approval is conditional on the (implementation of) the commitments, and thus one could argue that the commitments (together with the approval) form a contract between the authority and the notifying firms.

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Retail payments: a changing European landscape

The landscape for retail payments in Europe is going through a period of considerable upheaval due to technological developments and entry by new providers, supported by regulatory changes. What exactly are these changes, and what are their implications for the competitive dynamics and market outcomes in retail payments?

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Taking Britain to net zero: Ofgem’s decarbonisation action plan

On 3 February Ofgem, the energy regulator for Great Britain, published its decarbonisation action plan to support the UK in achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Outlining Ofgem’s role in facilitating decarbonisation, the plan lists the trade-offs faced and nine actions that the regulator will take. We look at what the plan says and its implications

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Consumer protection in the online economy

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (Autoriteit Consument en Markt, ACM) has recently published guidelines for online firms and other interested parties, indicating its view on which online business practices are allowed within the boundaries of consumer protection laws— and which are not. Annemieke Tuinstra, Senior Economist in ACM’s Chief Economist Team, discusses the economic and psychological concepts behind the guidelines

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Why is price gouging seen as unfair?

Prices of consumer goods can change considerably in times of crisis. During the rapidly evolving coronavirus pandemic, we’d like to share our thoughts on why consumers see some price rises as unfair.   Social media has lit up over the last...

Why are people panic buying?

In times of crisis, consumers quickly change their behaviour as they attempt to adapt to unfolding situations. During this rapidly evolving event, we'd like to share our thoughts on what is driving people to change their behaviour and consider how businesses can respond.

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The Heathrow judgment: implications for new infrastructure schemes

The Court of Appeal has ruled that the UK government’s decision to provide policy support for a new runway at Heathrow was unlawful on environmental grounds (specifically, a failure by the government to consider the Paris Agreement). There has been speculation about what this means for other new infrastructure projects, which could be subject to challenge. From an economics perspective then, what are the key implications for evidencing the case for new infrastructure?

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Women in Economics

‘An equal world is an enabled world’ In honour of International Women’s Day 2020, which takes place on 8 March, this month’s Agenda podcast is dedicated to women in economics.

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Home advantage? Who wins in multi-sided platform competition?

What do Google, Mastercard and Amazon have in common with early auction houses or the traditional village matchmaker? One answer is that they are all multi-sided platforms (MSPs). Much has been done in the last decade to try to understand the economics of such platforms. Yet current research is still uncovering new findings about pricing, multi-homing and the competitive dynamics of platforms—some of which can seem counterintuitive

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Are competition appeals taking too long?

The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has asked the government for additional powers to investigate firms and intervene more quickly in markets. At the same time, it wants to limit the scope for affected parties to appeal its decisions. Mark Friend, Partner and head of the London antitrust group at Allen & Overy LLP, considers whether the CMA’s arguments for reform are convincing and supported by the evidence from previous cases

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