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Peter is an experienced regulatory and competition economist who has spent the bulk of his career in the communications sector. He joined the Government Economic Service in 1979 and worked in a number of government departments including Transport, Environment and Defence, before joining Oftel, the UK telecoms regulator, in 1986.
At Oftel, Peter worked on a broad range of competition and regulatory issues in the telecoms sector, especially those relating to the promotion of competition and prevention of anticompetitive behaviour. He played a key role in the establishment of interconnection regimes and price controls, especially in the adoption of forward-looking cost methodologies in these areas. Peter became the Chief Economist of Oftel in 1998, a position he held until the formation of Ofcom in 2003. He joined Ofcom as the Director of Competition Economics, and became Chief Economist in 2005, a position he held until his retirement in 2018.
During his time at Ofcom Peter was a member of the most senior policymaking body (the Policy Executive, becoming the Policy and Management Board) and had overall responsibility for all of the economic work conducted by Ofcom. Peter also contributed personally on a wide range of issues, including:
- the functional and legal separation of BT;
- economic principles to be applied in Competition Act investigations in the telecoms and postal sectors;
- the regulation of prices, including methodologies for establishing and using a RAV, methods combining incentives for efficiency with the opportunity for cost recovery, and setting prices in periods of technical transition (‘the fair bet’);
- the assessment of principles for two-way access pricing for fixed and mobile network call termination;
- the undertaking of market reviews, including assessments of dominance/SMP;
- issues relating to the cost of capital and the application of discount rates;
- broadcasting issues, including those relating to Ofcom’s responsibilities for monitoring the behaviour of the BBC, along with Ofcom’s application of its powers and duties to promote fair and effective competition in broadcasting;
- spectrum allocation and policy decisions, including the calculation of Annual Licence Fees;
- establishing Ofcom’s approach to postal regulation when this was taken over by Ofcom.
Peter has given evidence on behalf of Ofcom in regulatory and competition proceedings at the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). He has also represented Ofcom at a number of regulatory and competition proceedings and conferences.
- MA Economics, University of Essex, UK