Competition and Regulation

Competition policy intends to prevent collusion among competing firms and to prevent individual firms from excercising “market power’’ and setting “too high” prices. Market regulations seek, either directly or indirectly, to control prices, intervening directly in market decisions such as pricing, market entry, or exit. Traditionally, the government has sought to prevent monopolies such as electric utilities from raising prices beyond the level that would ensure them reasonable profits.

I have been programme director of the MSc in Regulation and Competition at City University. I have also been teaching several courses about the quantitative and econometric techniques used in Competition Policy and Market Regulation, both at the MSc in Competition and Market Regulation at the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics and at the MSc in Regulation and Competition at City University London. I have also delivered several policy courses, including short-term specialised courses on the application of price cap regulation, and on the economics of the mergers and acquisitions.

I have also organised and delivered executive training courses for economists and non-economists. Thanks to the funding of the World Bank, and as part of the activities of the African Forum for Utility Regulators, we have organised several courses on economic regulation for regulators across Africa. In the UK, I also set up and delivered training courses for regulators and government officials, such as the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) and the Department for Business, Entreprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR). I have also provided an executive course on the status of competition policy in the UK and Europe for government officials of the Government of China.

In terms of research, I have studied the impact of uncertainty and asymmetric information on mergers, and acquisitions. I have evaluated the information-sharing and risk-sharing properties of horizontal mergers, the effect of risk and diversification on bank competition and mergers and the effects of adverse selection in the takeover process. In a separate line of research, I have also studied why some partnerships fail while others succeed, paying particular attention to the internal organization of merged firms.

I have also written, together with Jo Seldeslachts and the consultancy Dotecon, a policy report on the impact of minority interests in competitors for the Office of Fair Trading in the UK. As part of the activities of the City’s Centre for Competition and Regulatory Policy, we have also been organising biannual workshops in Regulation and Competition, in London and elsewhere, which bring together academics and practitioners.