Market investigations

Market investigations are often long and intensive and can result in intrusive remedies. We have supported clients through a large number of such investigations, providing advice on the issues that are central to the case, alongside empirical economic and financial analysis.

Many competition authorities are entitled to open wide-ranging investigations into markets to explore whether they suffer from any features that lead to competition working less effectively than it might. The authorities have the ability to engage in remedial action to varying degrees, with the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) having the most extensive powers (including the option to introduce price controls or impose structural divestments).

Thank you to the Frontier team for the excellent economic work and advice and the elegant drafting that you did in helping to secure the Vion clearance for 2 Sisters. Another great result!

Lucy Neville Rolfe, Consultant to 2 Sisters Food Group

We have been deeply involved in a large number of market reviews across many jurisdictions and market sectors. In the UK, we have advised main parties on all of the in-depth reviews undertaken by the CMA under the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act and on almost all of the inquiries carried out under the preceding Enterprise Act.

When advising clients, our approach is to pre-empt the issues, to help our clients understand the authorities’ concerns, to analyse and address those issues and, if necessary, to design appropriate remedies.

We provide clients with extensive support throughout the investigation process: in responding effectively and efficiently to competition authority information requests, carrying out empirical analysis, helping clients understand and respond to technical analysis carried out by the competition authority, and assisting clients in preparation for interactions with the authority. We also help design and assess potential remedies, aiming to ensure that they are no more intrusive than necessary to achieve the competition authority’s aims.

Energy market investigation In 2014, the CMA launched an in-depth investigation into the energy market in Great Britain. We advised one of the six large energy firms in responding to wide-ranging theories of harm: the existence of market power in the generation market, the ability of vertically integrated firms to foreclose rivals either in generation or retail markets, the impact of vertical integration on liquidity in wholesale markets, and the existence of market power in retail markets. Our extensive knowledge of the energy market in Great Britain helped us to engage in detail with the CMA on all aspects of the case (with theoretical argument and empirical evidence), forcing the CMA’s analysis to be grounded in the reality of the operation of the market.


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