The Competition Regulatory Authority (Jersey) Law 2001 empowers the Authority to undertake independent market studies.
What is a market study?
A market study is a flexible tool to explore whether 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;
- Non-binding recommendations to Government; and/or
- Investigation and enforcement action.
The Authority plans to publish draft guidelines that describe our general processes and approach to market studies in early 2021.
Who decides what markets to examine?
Market studies can be initiated at the request of Minister of Economic Development 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 Authority is also likely to issue a call for information from interested parties. 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 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