Committed to reform? Pragmatic antitrust enforcement in electricity markets

Sadowska, Malgorzata (2013) Committed to reform? Pragmatic antitrust enforcement in electricity markets, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Law and economics, 24 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/5256.
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This thesis is a collection of essays about the instrumental use of commitment decisions to facilitate the completion of the European internal electricity market. European policy can shape markets in many ways, two most evident being regulation and competition enforcement. The interplay between these two instruments attracts a lot of scholarly attention. One of the major concerns in the competition vs. regulation debate is the instrumental use of competition rules. It has been observed that competition enforcement is triggered not only as a response to an anticompetitive harm occurring in the market, but that it sometimes becomes a powerful tool in the European Commission’s hands to pursue regulatory goals. This thesis looks for examples of such instrumentalisation in the context of electricity markets and finds that the Commission is very pragmatic in using all the possible instruments it has at hand to push forward its project of creating the internal electricity market. This includes regulation, competition enforcement and all sorts of political pressure. To the extent that commitment decisions accelerate sector-specific regulation and overcome political deadlocks, they contribute to the Commission’s energy policy goals. However, instrumentalisation of competition rules comes at a certain cost to competition policy, energy policy and, most importantly, to electricity markets themselves. Markets might be negatively affected either indirectly, by application of sector-specific regulation or competition policy building on previous commitment decisions, or directly, through the implementation of inadequate commitments in individual cases. Concluding, commitment decisions generally contributed to achieving the policy objectives of the internal electricity market, but their use for that purpose does not come without cost. Given that this cost is ultimately borne by the internal electricity market, the Commission should take a more balanced approach to the instrumental use of commitment decisions so that it does not do more harm than good.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Sadowska, Malgorzata
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze economiche e statistiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Competition policy, energy markets, commitment decisions, liberalisation, electricity
Data di discussione
24 Giugno 2013

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