UK sector regulation and the concurrency regime

The following Competition practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • UK sector regulation and the concurrency regime
  • Key features of regulated sectors
  • Role of industry regulator and statutory sectoral duties
  • Licensing regime
  • Price regulation
  • Changes in control of regulated entities
  • Concurrent enforcement of competition law
  • Regulatory or competition powers?
  • Competition powers of concurrent regulators
  • UK Competition Network—regulators working together
  • More...

UK sector regulation and the concurrency regime

A number of industry sectors in the UK have their own sector regulator—some of these sector regulators (but not all) also have concurrent competition powers, meaning that they have the power to enforce competition law within their regulated sector.

The system for regulating specific industry sectors in the UK is complex owing to the interplay between the powers of the sector regulator to apply sector-specific regulation as well as competition law. This regulatory system has evolved following the privatisation of a number of specific sectors and the gradual evolution of regulation over time.

Each regulated sector is subject to its own individual and detailed regulatory framework. Thus, while there are a number of issues and procedures that are common across all or most of the regulated sectors, in detail they tend to differ in often fundamental respects. Therefore, specific reference must be made to the individual frameworks as they apply in each sector.

For details of ongoing competition cases being investigated by sector regulators, see further, UK behavioural investigations—case tracker and UK market studies and market investigation references—case tracker.

Key features of regulated sectors

The regulated sectors share a number of features and structural elements which have influenced the approach to regulatory interventions:

  1. they provide essential or necessary services in areas that may be considered a basic right

  2. they are or have elements

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