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Ofcom to investigate rising landline prices amid concern for elderly

Ofcom to investigate rising landline prices amid concern for elderly | Economics competition issues | Scoop.it
“ Providers have raised line-rental charges even as costs come down, with customers who rely on landlines hit hardest”
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Graham Watson's curator insight, December 1, 3:46 PM
Another OFCOM story - and a fairly simple one. The regulator wants to investigate why landline charges have risen by 28 to 41% in recent years whilst wholesale costs have fallen. It doesn't strike me that this is evidence of a competitive market operating in the consumer's best interests.
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Should our railways be renationalised? - BBC Newsnight

Strikes, delays and fare increases are feeding the frustrations of passengers on the railways. Would bringing them back into public ownership bring lowe
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EU fines Mitsubishi and Hitachi for car parts price fixing - BBC News

EU fines Mitsubishi and Hitachi for car parts price fixing - BBC News | Economics competition issues | Scoop.it
Mitsubishi Electric and Hitachi have been fined €137.8m (£105m) by European Union regulators for price fixing.

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Regulators to examine how cookies are used by firms - BBC News

Regulators to examine how cookies are used by firms - BBC News | Economics competition issues | Scoop.it
UK regulators have begun seeking information on how firms may be using cookies to target individual online shoppers with higher prices.
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Price discrimination - how technology makes it easier
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Tyrrells crisps takeover creates 'hundreds of new jobs' - BBC News

Tyrrells crisps takeover creates 'hundreds of new jobs' - BBC News | Economics competition issues | Scoop.it
“ Hundreds of new jobs will be created by upmarket snack firm Tyrrells following its takeover by a US firm, its managing director says.”
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Graham Watson's curator insight, October 16, 8:05 AM
An example of horizontal integration - Tyrells, the crisp manufacturer has been bought by US giant, Amplify Snack Brands. As yet, neither party has any market presence in the other's market and Tyrells are hoping that expansion into the US market is likely to create jobs.
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Uber drivers win key employment case - BBC News

Uber drivers win key employment case - BBC News | Economics competition issues | Scoop.it
“ UK employment tribunal rules that Uber drivers are workers rather than self-employed contractors.”
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Graham Watson's curator insight, October 30, 2:49 PM
Pre Leave Out, I flagged this up as a contentious issue, and I also predicted the outcome. However, what are its implications?

Well, think in terms of the impact on Uber's costs - it's likely to increase them, and if it makes Uber drivers subject to the same sort of costs that traditional taxi drivers are, then isn't this appropriate?

But it might also be argued that it will also reduce the number of drivers available, again increasing fares. I wonder if the recent introduction of the written English language test for drivers will now mysteriously disappear?
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Thrills, pills and seeds - BBC News

Thrills, pills and seeds - BBC News | Economics competition issues | Scoop.it
“ Why does Bayer - a fairly boring German drug company - want to bet the ranch on buying Monsanto, recently called the world's most hated company?”
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Graham Watson's curator insight, September 14, 4:28 PM
the BBC's Simon Jack reflects on why it might be that Bayer are delighted to have be on the point of concluding their merger deal with Monsanto, despite the fact that many of Monsanto's GM crops aren't accepted within the EU. The reason? The consolidation in the rest of the sector may have forced their hand.
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The Observer view on the power of the big four supermarkets | Observer editorial

The Observer view on the power of the big four supermarkets | Observer editorial | Economics competition issues | Scoop.it
“ Consumers need to know that their food will not harm them, animals or the environment”
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Graham Watson's curator insight, October 3, 3:26 AM
The Observer carried a piece yesterday suggesting that the big four supermarkets have far too much market power, meaning that they are able to shape market outcomes in a dangerous way. They can squeeze suppliers, by dictate prices and to some extent shape consumer tastes in a way that this piece suggests is sub-optimal.

Of course, we, the consumers, have chosen this route: however, the article might well argue that this is a function of imperfect information.
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Breaking up BT would be bad for investment and bad for Britain

Breaking up BT would be bad for investment and bad for Britain | Economics competition issues | Scoop.it

Last Tuesday marked the end of the public consultation for Ofcom’s Digital Communications Review. This was the latest milestone in a process that began 18 months ago, when Ofcom first announced its intention to review the current state of the UK’s communications market.


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Graham Watson's curator insight, October 10, 2:40 AM
The last of the great vested interests...the Finance Director of BT writes.

Bad for investment? Bad for Britain? Certainly bad for BT shareholders, and his salary and bonus package. And shameful that it's carried as objective 'news'.
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Supermarket price war drives down shop prices despite the falling pound

Supermarket price war drives down shop prices despite the falling pound | Economics competition issues | Scoop.it
Prices in British shops dropped by another 1.
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Matt Smith's curator insight, October 5, 2:26 AM
Oligopoly and Price Wars
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Farming mega-mergers threaten food security, say campaigners

Farming mega-mergers threaten food security, say campaigners | Economics competition issues | Scoop.it
Deals would put the majority of seeds, chemicals and GM traits in the hands of three companies, deepening poverty for small-scale farmers
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GSK fined for anti-competitive conduct - BBC News

GSK fined for anti-competitive conduct - BBC News | Economics competition issues | Scoop.it
The pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and some generic drugs firms have been fined for being anti-competitive.
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Wiltshire's entire NHS Children's Services privatised to Virgin in £64 million deal

Wiltshire's entire NHS Children's Services privatised to Virgin in £64 million deal | Economics competition issues | Scoop.it
NHS staff working in child health services in one West county have been told they have a new boss – Richard Branson – after health chiefs unilaterally privatised their entire department...

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Mo Tanweer's curator insight, November 24, 2015 2:57 AM

Privatisation - does it really bring better efficiency? Or is the profit incentive dangerous in areas where social aims are a priority?

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Train fares to rise by average of 2.3% - BBC News

Train fares to rise by average of 2.3% - BBC News | Economics competition issues | Scoop.it
“ Train fares in Britain will go up by an average of 2.3% from 2 January, the rail industry announces.”
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Graham Watson's curator insight, December 2, 12:25 PM
Train fares are set to increase by more than the rate of inflation next year, which must be little comfort for public sector workers faced with a pay freeze. This has brought muted protests from commuters and closer scrutiny of what determines fares.

A decade of fare rises from 2004 and largely attributable to a change in the way that fares are paid, with an ever smaller proportion of fares being financed out of the public purse, and a greater proportion coming from users of the rail service.

In addition, the nation's creaking rail infrastructure is also in need of considerable investment given rising demand for train travel.
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Number of care workers on zero-hours contracts jumps to one in seven

Number of care workers on zero-hours contracts jumps to one in seven | Economics competition issues | Scoop.it
The latest in a series on the increasingly precarious world of work finds accusations of ‘endemic’ abuse of minimum wage laws
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UK online sellers warned over price fixing

UK online sellers warned over price fixing | Economics competition issues | Scoop.it
Competition and Markets Authority says it has found evidence of collusion by sellers on sites such as Amazon
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AT&T-Time Warner deal: What does it mean for consumers? - BBC News

AT&T-Time Warner deal: What does it mean for consumers? - BBC News | Economics competition issues | Scoop.it
US telecoms giant AT&T plans to buy entertainment group Time Warner - what will that mean for consumers?
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Tesco sees first market share rise since 2011 - BBC News

Tesco sees first market share rise since 2011 - BBC News | Economics competition issues | Scoop.it
“ Tesco has increased its share of the UK grocery market for the first time since since 2011, figures from Kantar Worldpanel show.”
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Graham Watson's curator insight, October 18, 3:46 AM
A little bit of market movement in the grocery retailing sector, with Tesco reclaiming market share for the first time since 2011. It seems to be the case that the company has recovered some its reputation and also seen off competition from the discounters, given that sales have grown by 1.3% over the past year.
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Unilever and Tesco at loggerheads - BBC News

Unilever and Tesco at loggerheads - BBC News | Economics competition issues | Scoop.it
“ Unilever's demand for a 10% rise in the wholesale price of many well-known brands has seen the UK's biggest retailer dig in its heels.”
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Graham Watson's curator insight, October 13, 1:49 AM
Interesting, and brief Simon Jack piece on the Unilever-Tesco spat - not least in that he notes that the CEO of Tesco used to work for Unilever and may have a good idea of its strategy.

However, he highlights a number of factors that will have caused Tesco to adopt its position, not least the differing margins of the two companies- Unilever are likely to have 20-30%, Tesco 2-3%. I'd like you to have a think about why this might be?

There are some good economic reasons for this...
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Spotify in advanced talks to buy SoundCloud

Spotify has 40m paid users and a total user base of 100m. About 200m people regularly use SoundCloud's service. But barely any pay


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Graham Watson's curator insight, September 30, 6:07 AM
The FT looks at the proposed merger of Spotify and SoundCloud, in the face of increased competition from Apple Music. The interesting thing is that barely any consumers of the services pay - so how the firms can monetize this makes for an interesting business model. Add in the US v Europe - Ryder Cup style competition in the sector and it will be a merger to keep an eye on.
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William Hill in talks over £5bn merger with PokerStars owner

William Hill in talks over £5bn merger with PokerStars owner | Economics competition issues | Scoop.it
William Hill is in talks with the Canadian owner of PokerStars over a potential £5bn merger which could create one of the world’s biggest online betting giants.

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Graham Watson's curator insight, October 9, 3:39 AM
Having rebuffed a takeover by Rank and 888, William Hill have turned their attention to trying to conclude a mega-deal with PokerStars, with the prospect of creating a $5 billion company in a sector that has seen a great deal of consolidation in the recent past. It seems that there are lots of economies of scale available and few diseconomies.
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US drug company hiked price of acne cream by 3,900% in less than 18 months

US drug company hiked price of acne cream by 3,900% in less than 18 months | Economics competition issues | Scoop.it
Novum Pharma, bought the rights to Aloquin cream, which contains two cheap ingredients, in 2015 and almost immediately increased the price by 1,100%
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US drug company hiked price of acne cream by 3,900% in less than 18 months

US drug company hiked price of acne cream by 3,900% in less than 18 months | Economics competition issues | Scoop.it
Novum Pharma, bought the rights to Aloquin cream, which contains two cheap ingredients, in 2015 and almost immediately increased the price by 1,100%
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Asda Slashes Food Prices To Revive Sales

Asda Slashes Food Prices To Revive Sales | Economics competition issues | Scoop.it
The move is part of a new "That's Better" campaign that will see Asda improve the quality of its own-brand ranges.
Via Matt Smith
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Consumers in England to get choice of water services - BBC News

Consumers in England to get choice of water services - BBC News | Economics competition issues | Scoop.it
Millions of householders in England could soon be given more choice over which company supplies part of their water services.

Via Matt Smith
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