Munich Personal RePEc Archive

A better deal for consumers and an attractive environment for investors: How the UK’s economic regulators are developing the use of regulatory and competition powers

Price, Richard and Ross, Cathryn (2014): A better deal for consumers and an attractive environment for investors: How the UK’s economic regulators are developing the use of regulatory and competition powers. Published in:

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Abstract

There are great expectations in the UK for infrastructure and its role in delivering for customers and society, promoting efficiency and economic growth. These expectations are matched by an ambitious forward programme of investments in renewal and expansion of network capacity and quality across sectors, in some cases backed by the government and in others by private investors. Economic regulation and competition have a big role to play in aligning the interests of investors with the interests of customers and society. Specifically, in relation to investors, economic regulation and competition help to ensure investment is efficient, with the right investment taking place the right place, at the right time and at efficient cost. In this context, regulatory coherence and stability has rarely been so important. 2 In this paper we discuss • the relationship between competition and regulation, and the way regulators use their powers; • the importance of independent regulation in helping to ensure the delivery of what customers and society need, want and can afford from regulated sectors, particularly against a background of major investments in UK infrastructure; • how economic regulation needs to learn and evolve if it is to continue to help ensure delivery of what customers and society expect, given that regulated sectors and the environment in which they operate change over time; and • how the regulators are working together to maximise the benefits from coordination or read across between sectors.

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