Line of business restrictions as a solution to competition concerns


Line of business restrictions are restrictions that limit the kind of activities that the operator of a facility can undertake. These restrictions can be structural in the sense that they prohibit a firm from engaging in a line of business, as set out in the OECD Recommendation on Structural Separation. Alternatively, they can be behavioural, for example restricting a firm’s scope to discriminate between those that one of its lines of business sells to, or restricting the firm’s ability to organise its lines of business, for instance by mandatory functional or legal (accounting) separation.

In June 2020, the OECD explored how effective different types of restriction have been in the utility industries in which they were often applied, and tried to understand whether similar issues arise in relation to self-preferencing by digital platforms.



Darry Biggar Bio 
Special Economic Adviser (Regulatory), ACCC

Pablo Ibanez Colomo Bio 
Professor of Law, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Cristina Caffarra Bio 
Vice President, Head of European Competition Practice, Charles River Associates

Damien Geradin Bio   
Partner, Geradin Partners

Justus Haucap Bio    
Professor of Economics, University of Düsseldorf



OECD Background note • Note de réflexion de l'OCDE

Detailed summary of the discussion

Note by BIAC


Chris Pike, OECD

Pablo Ibanez Colomo, London School of Economics

Cristina Caffarra,Charles River Associates


Damien Geradin, Geradin Partners

Justus Haucap, University of Düsseldorf

Darryl Biggar, ACCC

John Small, New Zealand Commerce Commission



OECD Handbook Competition Policy in the Digital Age

Independent sector regulators and competition, 2019 

Vertical mergers in the technology, media and telecom sector, 2019

Radical innovation in the electricity sector, 2017

Price discrimination and competition, 2016

Big data: Bringing competition policy to the digital era, 2016

Financing of the roll-out of broadband networks, 2014

Competition issues in television and broadcasting, 2013

Margin squeeze, 2009 


Recommendation on Structural Separation in Regulated Industries

OECD best practice roundtables on competition

More OECD work on competition


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