What is a market study?
A market study is a flexible tool to explore whether a market, or feature of a market, is working well for Jersey consumers. It considers the relationship between consumer behaviour in a market, the behaviour of firms in that market, and the market’s structure. By looking at these relationships, the Authority can determine whether action that will encourage changes to consumer behaviour, business behaviour, or both, will help address any market problems found.
The outcomes of a market study may be one or more of the following:
- A clean bill of health for the market;
- Consumer/business focused action; and/or
- Non-binding recommendations to Government.
Note, if as part of a study, evidence was found of a firm/s breaking Competition Law, the appropriate tool would be competition enforcement, not a market study. In this scenario the market study would be stopped and instead a formal investigation launched.
Who decides what markets to examine?
Market studies can be initiated at the request of Government/the States Assembly or self-initiated by the Authority. Sources of “problem markets” include:
- Other areas of Authority activity, for example mergers, enforcement and complaints; and
- Problems identified by others, for example through cooperation with other Jersey consumer bodies, the Government or other National Competition and Regulatory Authorities (e.g. the UK Competition and Markets Authority).
Consistent with the Authority’s prioritisation principles, the Authority focus is on markets where there is the potential to have the greatest impact for Jersey consumers.
What is the process for a market study?
The Authority will publish terms of reference setting out the scope of the study and proposed timeframe. The next stage is an information-gathering phase which will be followed by analysis of the evidence and information received.
Before issuing the final report, the Authority may release an interim report and findings to seek views. Any recommendations in the final report will be non-binding on Government, but may include recommended measures to improve the performance of markets, such as changes to regulation, policy or the conduct of market participants.
What market studies are presently taking place?
The Authority will conduct a series of market studies as part of its annual work programme, announcing each on its website and issuing a press release to raise public awareness.
There are two market studies presently taking place, into Freight Logistics (Case M-002) and Alcohol Pricing and Promotions (M-003). Information on these cases can be found on the Open Cases section on our homepage.
What market studies have been completed before?
The Authority has undertaken a number of market studies in the past and these are summarised in the table below.
Name of study
Freight market study
Aviation Fuel market study
Marine Fuel market study
Tobacco market study
Groceries market study
Electricity market study
Petrol market study
Heating Oil market study
Motor Trade market study
Supermarkets market study
Food Price market study