Dynamic counterfactuals and merger control: the old, the new and the uncertain

Recent merger cases have seen an increased interest in ‘dynamic’ counterfactuals, where the market would have become more competitive in the future in the absence of the merger. What are these recent developments,  how can competition authorities take them into account, and how can advisers help to reduce the uncertainty for the merging parties?

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Destination unknown: airport regulation in the wake of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe impact on public health, and significant and far-reaching effects across most sectors of the economy. Given the current global travel restrictions, with most of the world’s population living in countries with some form of travel ban or restriction, aviation has been one of the most dramatically affected sectors. What long-term effects will this have on the sector, and what are the implications for economic regulation?

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Five things to do with HS2

The UK government has given its Notice to Proceed with the first phase of a new high-speed, high-frequency railway line between north-east London and Birmingham. It has also updated the business case for this phase. Following Oxera’s work on the Oakervee Review—which led to the decision to go ahead with the line—we review the economic case, and recommend how the evidence base might be improved.

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Three reasons to be positive

The impact of COVID-19 is unprecedented in modern times. The virus is more virulent than seasonal flu and a vaccine is not yet available. It is putting immense pressure on our health systems. Read more.

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PR19 Redeterminations: Companies’ Statements of Case – Cost allowance

Following Ofwat’s 2019 price review of water companies, four companies have appealed to the CMA for a redetermination of PR19. Each company has submitted its Statement of Case (SoC), which outlines its disagreements with Ofwat’s methodology and findings. An important part of Ofwat’s Final Determination is the costs that each company should be allowed to

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PR19 Redeterminations: Companies’ Statements of Case

Following Ofwat’s 2019 price review of water companies (PR19), four companies have appealed to the CMA for a redetermination. Each company has submitted its Statement of Case (SoC), which outlines its disagreements with Ofwat’s methodology and findings. An important part of Ofwat’s Final Determination is the rate of return that each company is allowed to

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How are Italian consumers reacting to COVID-19?

On 31 January 2020, the first two cases of COVID-19 were registered in Italy. Over the following weeks, the virus spread throughout all Italian regions, and by the second week of March, Italy was under lockdown.

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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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