2 December 2019 Paris
Independent regulators are those that operate autonomously and with no undue influence from political forces or private entities. This independence, and their relationship with competition authorities that focus on merger control and antitrust enforcement, is important as an effective regulator can helpfully complement the role of the competition agency and thereby ensure a consistent and coherent competition policy for the sector. It can do so not only by avoiding unnecessary anti-competitive regulatory measure in pursuit of its broader objectives, but also by stimulating more effective competition through better regulation, such as through interventions to tackle asymmetric information, limits on the exploitation of behavioural biases, as well as by reducing barriers to entry and setting standards for portability or interoperability where appropriate.
Given the broad adoption of independent regulators in utility industries it is therefore surprising that many other regulated markets lack an independent regulator (with regulations set either through self-regulation or by government ministries). In addition where there are independent regulators there remain a wide variety of different approaches to ensuring consistency between the regulator and the competition authority.
In December, 2019, the OECD therefore held a roundtable discussion to explore these issues, giving the opportunity to learn from the experiences that delegations have had in advocating for (or against) the creation of, and co-operating with independent sector regulators.
All related materials for the discussion are available on this page.
» See full list of best practice roundtables on competition
Sean Ennis Bio
Director of the Centre for Competition Policy and Professor of Competition Policy at Norwich Business School
Anne Yvrande-Billon Bio
Chair of the OECD Network of Economic Regulators and vice-president of the French transport regulator
Marcus Bezzi Bio
Executive General Manager for specialised enforcement and advocacy, ACCC
» OECD Background note • Note de réflexion de l'OCDE
» Executive Summary with key findings
» Detailed summary of the discussion
RELATED BEST PRACTICE ROUNDTABLES
Co-operation between Competition Agencies and Regulators in the Financial Sector: 10 years on from the Financial Crisis, 2017
Addressing Competition Challenges in Financial Markets, Session 3 of the 2017 Latin American and Caribbean Competition Forum)
Independence of competition authorities - from designs to practices, 2016
Relationship between Regulators and Competition Authorities, 1998
The 2018 Indicators on the Governance of Sector Regulators - Part of the Product Market Regulation (PMR) Survey
OECD best practice roundtables on competition