Company responses to Ofwat’s slow-track draft determinations

Introduction Water companies have recently responded to Ofwat’s slow-track draft determinations (DD).[1] The key themes from those responses can be put into three key categories: cost assessment; financial issues; outcome targets. Cost assessment While supportive in certain areas, a number of companies have criticised Ofwat’s approach to determining efficient costs. Base total expenditure (BOTEX): most

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The impact at a local level of investments in Very High Capacity Networks

Very high capacity broadband networks are crucial for enabling interconnection between areas, industries and people. They facilitate interaction, collaboration, trade and the social and economic benefits that come with them. In today’s connected world, having up-to-date and future-proof digital and telecommunications infrastructure is a key strategic priority for the UK government. The Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG)

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What is the purpose of business?

A monthly podcast debating what it means to go Beyond the Bottom Line. Featuring Oxera experts and leaders in business and finance. Dr Luis Correia da Silva, Partner at Oxera, says that businesses have been put under severe pressure over the last few years, not just to focus on profits but also to consider the outcomes they deliver for society and what impact they have on communities. Around the globe, investors, governments and regulators are all exercising enormous pressure on boards of directors of companies to take a much more holistic view of the purpose of business. Equally, society is now playing an active role in shaping the future of business.

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Beyond the Bottom Line

What society expects from business is evolving rapidly. New business models mean that intermediaries are being removed and traditional value chains are being disrupted. Advances in AI and automation are having profound effects on employment. Communities are exerting enormous social pressure and questioning globalisation. Furthermore, we urgently need to separate economic growth from the consumption

Read More

Letter from the editor

Dear reader,  Since launching Agenda as a monthly publication in 2005, it has been our ambition to provide you with engaging and relevant insights underpinned by economics as it applies to business, markets, law and regulation.

Read More

Blinded by the sun: the future of renewables disputes

The deployment of renewable energy technologies looks set to continue to grow. However, it can be challenging to integrate these technologies into existing policy frameworks and energy systems. Renewables have also been prone to legal disputes, as illustrated by recent cases brought against the Spanish government. As such disputes become more commonplace, a range of economic, financial and public policy issues will need to be examined

Read More

New kid (needed) on the block? Vertical Block Exemption Regulation in the digital age

The recent rise of ecommerce has triggered debate around vertical agreements between suppliers and distributors/retailers. Against this backdrop, is the European Commission’s current Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER) still fit for purpose, or should it be revised? Do its Guidelines on Vertical Restraints (VGL) also need to change? Drawing on Oxera’s response to the Commission’s 2019 consultation, we discuss a few areas where revision and further guidance might be welcome

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Company responses to Ofwat’s slow-track draft determinations

Introduction Water companies have recently responded to Ofwat’s slow-track draft determinations (DD).[1] The key themes from those responses can be put into three key categories: cost assessment; financial issues; outcome targets. Cost assessment While supportive in certain areas, a number of companies have criticised Ofwat’s approach to determining efficient costs. Base total expenditure (BOTEX): most

Read More


The impact at a local level of investments in Very High Capacity Networks

Very high capacity broadband networks are crucial for enabling interconnection between areas, industries and people. They facilitate interaction, collaboration, trade and the social and economic benefits that come with them. In today’s connected world, having up-to-date and future-proof digital and telecommunications infrastructure is a key strategic priority for the UK government. The Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG)

Read More


What is the purpose of business?

A monthly podcast debating what it means to go Beyond the Bottom Line. Featuring Oxera experts and leaders in business and finance. Dr Luis Correia da Silva, Partner at Oxera, says that businesses have been put under severe pressure over the last few years, not just to focus on profits but also to consider the outcomes they deliver for society and what impact they have on communities. Around the globe, investors, governments and regulators are all exercising enormous pressure on boards of directors of companies to take a much more holistic view of the purpose of business. Equally, society is now playing an active role in shaping the future of business.

Read More


Beyond the Bottom Line

What society expects from business is evolving rapidly. New business models mean that intermediaries are being removed and traditional value chains are being disrupted. Advances in AI and automation are having profound effects on employment. Communities are exerting enormous social pressure and questioning globalisation. Furthermore, we urgently need to separate economic growth from the consumption

Read More


Letter from the editor

Dear reader, 
Since launching Agenda as a monthly publication in 2005, it has been our ambition to provide you with engaging and relevant insights underpinned by economics as it applies to business, markets, law and regulation.

Read More


Blinded by the sun: the future of renewables disputes

The deployment of renewable energy technologies looks set to continue to grow. However, it can be challenging to integrate these technologies into existing policy frameworks and energy systems. Renewables have also been prone to legal disputes, as illustrated by recent cases brought against the Spanish government. As such disputes become more commonplace, a range of economic, financial and public policy issues will need to be examined

Read More


New kid (needed) on the block? Vertical Block Exemption Regulation in the digital age

The recent rise of ecommerce has triggered debate around vertical agreements between suppliers and distributors/retailers. Against this backdrop, is the European Commission’s current Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER) still fit for purpose, or should it be revised? Do its Guidelines on Vertical Restraints (VGL) also need to change? Drawing on Oxera’s response to the Commission’s 2019 consultation, we discuss a few areas where revision and further guidance might be welcome

Read More


Water sector draft determinations: a stocktake

Ofwat’s July 2019 draft determinations for water companies in England and Wales signal that the regulator is toughening its stance on allowed returns, cost efficiency and performance incentives. Credit rating agencies have provided their own thoughts on what this means for the sector. We go under the bonnet to explore the detail

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State of play: what’s going to happen with UK freight after Brexit?

The Prime Minister of the UK, Boris Johnson, has pledged to deliver Brexit on 31 October 2019, without further delays, whether or not a deal is in place. Retailers and manufacturers are preparing their supply chains, with companies and organisations reviewing their distribution networks and, in many cases, stockpiling inputs. On 18 August, a UK government report on the detailed preparations and scenario modelling undertaken by HM Treasury was leaked to The Sunday Times. In this article, we review some likely sources of friction and delay and quantify the potential impact on supply chains.

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Sharing is caring: supporting the roll-out of 5G networks

Early 5G services are being launched in major towns and cities around the world, providing enhanced mobile broadband services to users. However, further investment in new network infrastructure will be required to support widespread deployment of 5G and take full advantage of the technology’s transformational capabilities. Given the significant costs involved, network sharing agreements may be increasingly important. Will this greater industry collaboration have an impact on head-to-head competition? If so, how should this tension be assessed?

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