Competition Policy & Research
A sector inquiry or market study is part of the Commission’s task to promote competition in a certain sector or market. The aim of a sector inquiry or market study is diagnostic and often done to assess competition in a particular market and recommend procompetitive measures to increase consumer welfare in the relevant areas. In addition, a sector inquiry may also unearth evidence of competition law infringements that call for regular enforcement actions in the relevant industry or sector. Thus, sector inquiries and market studies form part of an effective competition policy.
§28 requires the Commission to conduct studies for promoting competition in all sectors of the economy and §29(b) empowers the Commission to promote competition by reviewing policy frameworks making suitable recommendations for fostering competition.
Sector inquiries and market studies are extensive, covering market dominance, entry barriers, the effect of international developments on the national market, and the regulatory mechanism. They are based on efforts to gather first hand knowledge from relevant stakeholders. Yet, sector inquiries are resource intensive, and also require access to relevant market data which companies are often reluctant to disclose, like for example company data on market shares, strategies, prices, margins and costs.
The reports are of interest to policy makers in both the legislative and the executive branches, market players, investors, academia, and students.