ECON 3
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Energy firms face finance scrutiny

Energy firms face finance scrutiny | ECON 3 | Scoop.it
Regulator Ofgem outlines measures to improve the transparency of major energy firms' accounts and break down barriers to competition.
Lampton Economics's insight:

The big 6 energy firms are being warned to trade farily with independent supplier or face fianancil penalties. This will make it easier for small companies to buy energy and then re-sell it to domestic and industrial customers.  Nearly 2 million customers are with independent suppliers, although the market is relatively small so by break down barriers to competiton this will allow new entrants and help previous suppliers. Ofgem had previously failed consumers by not introducing strict measures to ensure the finances were transparent. EEnergy and Climate Change Committee (ECCC) believes that calculatiing how their profits are made requires forensic accountants, as its the job of Ofgem to do so for the consumer welfare. #Econ 3 GP

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Office of Fair Trading Gives Developers Two Months to End Shady In-App Purchases Practises

Office of Fair Trading Gives Developers Two Months to End Shady In-App Purchases Practises | ECON 3 | Scoop.it
Office of Fair Trading Gives Developers Two Months to End Shady In-App Purchases Practises by Gizmodo UK. The Office of Fair Trading wants UK app developers to comply with new guidelines put in place to protect parents from the dread of in-app purchases, with t 0.
Lampton Economics's insight:

The OFT has moved into the market of virtual apps an is looking to protect consumers from the falling into the trap of racking up hundreds of pounds worth of bills on in-app purchases. The OFT working to protect consumer welfare and given the developers 2 months to comply or risk being banned from the country!

-shahaan

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Lampton Economics's comment, February 14, 2014 6:15 AM
Stops emotive language towards children so exploitation can be prevented. Stops the app owners from using a type of price discrimination to the children market where they know their inexperience and vunerability can be used in order to make further profits. - Amandeep
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Foam producers fined EUR 114 million as EU Competition Commission reaches cartel settlement

Foam producers fined EUR 114 million as EU Competition Commission reaches cartel settlement | ECON 3 | Scoop.it
On 29 January 2014, the European Commission announced that it had fined four producers of flexible polyurethane foam products a total of EUR 114,077,000 for their participation in a cartel.
Lampton Economics's insight:

Ever wondered what made car chairs soft ? Well its this stuff and thanks to the European Commission it should probably get cheaper. It was found that 4 major European suppliers of the stuff were price fixing (CARTEL!) and thanks to a little snakeyness by one of them (Vita) and some dawn raids they will be heavily fined. Though Vita gets away without a fine (it pays to be a grass) this just goes to show that the Commission has real powers and can make big bucks to cover its costs.

-AM

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OFT probe into hotel prices closes

OFT probe into hotel prices closes | ECON 3 | Scoop.it
The OFT moves to try to help people access discounts when booking hotels online investigating the competition practice between three companies.
Lampton Economics's insight:

This article looks at how the OFT have enabled online agents to give consumers access to online dicsounts for hotels. This is done to incrase online compeition and competitive pricing. However, consumers have been told to sign up with an online agent.

 

HB

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Lampton Economics's comment, February 11, 2014 5:25 AM
It is a good idea for the OFT to move to try to help people access discounts when booking online. By increasing online competition, consumers are benefiting increasing consumer welfare - AK
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Ofwat stems flow of returns to water investors - Telegraph

Ofwat stems flow of returns to water investors - Telegraph | ECON 3 | Scoop.it
Analysts say water utilities' payments to shareholders could be at risk after Ofwat says fair returns are lower than companies had assumed
Lampton Economics's insight:

this is about ofwat using its power to regulate and control prices to keep prices as  low as possible.

IK

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Rail Regulator announces £99 million pound fund to close 500 Level Crossings | Rail.co.uk

Rail Regulator announces £99 million pound fund to close 500 Level Crossings | Rail.co.uk | ECON 3 | Scoop.it
Published: 14th November
Lampton Economics's insight:

ORR has decided to close level crossings to prevent danger and have delivered a plan to maximise the reduction in risks of accidents at level crossings. - They are working in favour of the people. 

AK 

#ECON3

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Vodafone skirts fine by meeting Ofcom's extended 3G coverage deadline

Vodafone skirts fine by meeting Ofcom's extended 3G coverage deadline | ECON 3 | Scoop.it
Operator catches up with rivals O2, EE and Three
Lampton Economics's insight:

Vodafone narrowly avoided a penalty by meeting the deadline for extending their 3G coverage - SR #ECON3

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British Gas may be split up as government chides sector on prices | Reuters

British Gas may be split up as government chides sector on prices | Reuters | ECON 3 | Scoop.it
LONDON (Reuters) - Former gas monopoly British Gas might be broken up to put a stop to excessive profit margins charged by Britain's biggest gas supplier, Energy Secretary Ed Davey said on Monday, responding
Lampton Economics's insight:

Very good for consumers.

Sukhjit Gill

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Lampton Economics's comment, February 10, 2014 12:51 PM
SAA this article looks interesting as this could reduce the possibly power of one firm. However this run the risk of making the price of the new firms service more expense due to possibly being more inefficient.
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Private patients 'paying too much'

Private patients 'paying too much' | ECON 3 | Scoop.it
Most patients in UK private hospitals are paying more than they should for treatment because of a lack of local competition, an inquiry has found.
Lampton Economics's insight:

The Competition Commission believes that the lack of local choice pushed premiums for all patients. The lack of competition in the healthcare market at a local level results in most private patients are paying more for private medical insurance or self-funded treatment. The lack of available and comparable information, often less than available to the NHS, also makes informed choices, which could help drive competition. The CC has recommended moves to make more information available about quality of hospitals services and amount charged. In addition those who own a cluster of hospitals in one area are required to sell off some them. BMI a leading hospital group rejected that it exercised market power to make extra profits. The CC has understood the need for strong action and has begun to put patients first. - GP

 

 

Don't people choose to get either private or public healthcare, so private healthcare is more expensive but is the persons own choice so they should pay it because they opted for it , when they were receiving it before at no cost. - Anglee

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Fuel firms 'ripping off' cash payers

Fuel firms 'ripping off' cash payers | ECON 3 | Scoop.it
Energy companies are being accused of "ripping off" consumers who do not pay their bills by direct debit.
Lampton Economics's insight:

This article discusses how those that paying by cash or cheque pay more a year than those who make automatic payments. Enquriy by OFGEM has been called by 200 MPs. The energy companies have responded by stating the charges reflect higher costs of processing payments. OFGEM is currently investigating this issue and Scottish Power for breaking rules. 45 % of the country use the most expensive method to pay and these extra funds are being used by the energy companies to track down those who do not pay - GP

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UK fair trade regulator express concern over Diageo-United Spirits deal - Moneylife

UK fair trade regulator express concern over Diageo-United Spirits deal - Moneylife | ECON 3 | Scoop.it
Despite Diageo offering to divest bulk of Whyte & Mackay business to address anti-competition concerns posed by its deal with United Spirits, the UK OFT expressed concern about the impact of the deal
Lampton Economics's insight:

This article is about the OFT investigating a deal made on beverages worth $2 Billion. They are investigating the impact the deal would have on competition in the beverage market as stated that 'parties would restrict the supply and/or increase prices of private label blended Scotch whisky' . Therefore regulators found that it would lessen competition because of the merge.

 

AK #Econ3

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Elderly hit by security price fixing

Elderly hit by security price fixing | ECON 3 | Scoop.it
Vulnerable elderly people may have been ripped off by home security system suppliers acting as a price-fixing cartel, regulators say.
Lampton Economics's insight:

The article talks about how elderly people may have been ripped off by home security system suppliers acting as a price-fixing cartel. Four security firms were found to have broken competition law and The Office of Fair Trading said their behavior likely meant higher prices were paid by many elderly and potentially vulnerable people. This led to three firms being fined £53,410

 

Ashmeet

 

 

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UK OFT Issues Last Chance To Child-Friendly Games Developers

UK OFT Issues Last Chance To Child-Friendly Games Developers | ECON 3 | Scoop.it
The UK Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has given free-to-play social games developers two months to be clear about costs for child-friendly games or face
Lampton Economics's insight:

This article shows the OFT cautioning companies that they need to ensure theat they are giving upfront information on cost or in game advertising to customers. Also the OFT said that many games were violating the UK consumer protection standard. 

Pavan #econ3 

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EU questions Bank of England regulators over UK bank bonus approvals - FT.com

EU questions Bank of England regulators over UK bank bonus approvals - FT.com | ECON 3 | Scoop.it
Bank of England regulators are facing EU pressure to explain why it is approving novel forms of “fixed pay” that investment banks are using to sidestep an incoming bonus cap. EU regulators have asked the BofE’s Prudential Regulation Authority arm to
Lampton Economics's insight:

EU regulators are asking Bank of England why they are allowing big bonus's, and next week will have to report to the European Banking Authority so they can review the pay.  KK

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Competition Commission confirms plan for new cement producer | Construction News | The Construction Index

Competition Commission confirms plan for new cement producer | Construction News | The Construction Index | ECON 3 | Scoop.it
The Competition Commission (CC) has confirmed its plan shake up the cement market and to open the way for a fifth producer to increase competition in the market.
Lampton Economics's insight:

The CC plans a new cement producer in order to stimulate competition in the market in hope to create cheaper prices for consumers/reduce cost of construction. It's asking larger companies to sell cement plants to allow for new entrants so that the 3 major companies are encouraged to compete rather than focusing on market stability=Lowering costs

-Amandeep

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Lampton Economics's comment, February 13, 2014 5:20 PM
interesting article looking at how the CC are looking to do there bit to encourage construction to meet the new housing bubble, possibly. Asking larger firms to sell of part of their portfolio means they are introducing a new firm into the market in order to boost competition and benefit the consumers.
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NEWSNIGHT: Paxman shows Coca Cola boss how much sugar is in a supersize cup - YouTube

Calls are growing for high sugar drinks to be taxed in the same way as cigarettes to curb rising obesity. Does the drinks industry's resistance echo that of ...
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Lampton Economics's curator insight, February 10, 2014 11:58 AM

RJ: Is this a case of information failure leading to market failure? Would information make consumers change their behaviour?

Lampton Economics's curator insight, February 13, 2014 4:02 PM

This article itself is around negative externality in consumption, but this article coming on the news is a positive externality in consumption. Makes no sense but I hope you know where I am coming from. This article covers a demirt good : Coca cola and it raises awareness of how much sugar there is in your average cinema coke. In addition to this, the cola markets publish ingredients , and how much sugar , fat etc the drink contains, they use this point to back themselves, this is because they will say, we have everything on the  front of the can and its the consumers choice, this prevents asymetric information, and it doesn't give many ways for the govt interfere, the most they can do is jus create adverts after adverts...

Dhamen. K

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Competition Commission orders two healthcare groups to sell nine hospitals

Competition Commission orders two healthcare groups to sell nine hospitals | ECON 3 | Scoop.it
Investigation concluded that prices were kept artificially high by dominance of largest private groups
Lampton Economics's insight:

Competition Commission (CC) opening up the private healthcare market to greater competition.  Critics argue there is already sufficient competition and this decision won't lower costs - IH #ECON3 

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OFT gives games firms April deadline to clean up in-app purchases for kids

OFT gives games firms April deadline to clean up in-app purchases for kids | ECON 3 | Scoop.it
Final principles for online and mobile makers published alongside guidance to ensure parents are up to speed too. By Stuart Dredge
Lampton Economics's insight:

the oft has given app creators until April to get their act together for online and mobile games firms use in-app purchases and use personal data of their players. this has lead to kids spending four figure digits. they also do not specify how they will use the data they obtain e.g marketing. so they have to have to show a terms and conditions page that will explain the purchases, advertising and how they will use the data.

IK  

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Car insurance too high, says Competition Commission

Car insurance too high, says Competition Commission | ECON 3 | Scoop.it
Watchdog says too many drivers are footing the bill for unnecessary costs incurred during the claims process
Lampton Economics's insight:

The Competition Commission's investigated the motor insurance market as it found out that it was not working well for motorists . It said too many drivers were paying the bill for unnecessary costs incurred during the claims process following an accident, and that this is adding between £150m and £200m a year to motorists' premiums. The commission's inquiry into the market is to help insurers continue the work they are already undertaking to remove costs that unnecessarily drive up car insurance premiums.  - AK

 

 


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Lampton Economics's comment, February 11, 2014 4:23 AM
A good idea to make consumers more aware of the amount of car isnurance they're paying and to make sure they are not paying more by the CC intervening.
Lampton Economics's comment, February 11, 2014 5:39 AM
I agree, with the investigation by CC as this will help many drivers who do participate in correct driving as they are affected by those who drive incorrectly. I think this unfair because the good drivers are being charged high insurance premiums when they are not repsonible for poor driving. Being a driver myself, it is disappointing to insurance companines to charge high premiums, unfairly. -GP
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News: Office of Fair Trading gives devs two months to adapt to new in-app purchasing rules - ComputerAndVideoGames.com

News: Office of Fair Trading gives devs two months to adapt to new in-app purchasing rules - ComputerAndVideoGames.com | ECON 3 | Scoop.it
The Office of Fair Trading has announced that developers have until April 1 to ensure their apps adhere to its in-app purchase principles.
Lampton Economics's insight:

#Econ 3

SAA.

This article is about how the Office of Fair Trading is getting involved and stopping apps  that will make consumer buy items unknowing of if they did so or not.

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Competition Commission to break up UK cement market

Competition Commission to break up UK cement market | ECON 3 | Scoop.it
The UK cement market has too few players in manufacturing, the Competition Commission has decided.
Lampton Economics's insight:

This article argues that there are not enough cement producers in the UK market. There are only four including the new entrant Hope Construction Materials which is the result of a previous merge. With only four manufactures, conditions have been created that allow three of the producers to co ordinate behaviour, therefore decreasing their competition and resulting in relatively higher prices for consumers. The Commission now aims to find ways in which they can increase competition to benefit consumers.  - PA

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Payment surcharges: OFT wants ban on above cost charges to extend to all business-consumer contracts

Payment surcharges: OFT wants ban on above cost charges to extend to all business-consumer contracts | ECON 3 | Scoop.it
A ban on payment surcharges above the cost of processing a transaction should apply to all businesses, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has said.

Via CIM Academy
Lampton Economics's insight:

This article is about the OFT investigating the use of 'personalised pricing' to discover if practices online treat consumers fairly. This is to make sure that businesses are not breaking consumer laws by charging consumers high prices. It discusses how many businesses use information from consumers, such as the websites they visit or items they look at to determine their sales in the future. Therefore the OFT will be observing businesses that change their prices as a result of this. However, in 2010, the OFT had stated that this view was just a theory and that no evidence had been found that businesses had been doing anything of the sort. - PA 

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Let weak banks die, says eurozone super-regulator - FT.com

Let weak banks die, says eurozone super-regulator - FT.com | ECON 3 | Scoop.it
The eurozone’s new chief banking regulator has warned that some of the region’s lenders have no future and should be allowed to die, heralding a far tougher approach to the supervision across the currency bloc. In her first interview since taking
Lampton Economics's insight:

#Econ 3.

What the regulator is saying is that, weaker banks that can not handle large amounts of debts should be left to be rid of. This would involve regulators having to sweep through and clear a large amount of banks to see if they are deamed weak. This would then need governments intervention (or in this the ECB and its members)  to ensure that 'weaker' banks are rid off with help from regulators.

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Ofqual: courses for foreign students 'not up to scratch' - Telegraph

Ofqual: courses for foreign students 'not up to scratch' - Telegraph | ECON 3 | Scoop.it
Ofqual raises concerns over substandard college courses for foreign students, warning of candidates being over-marked, plagiarism going unpunished and inconsistent grading
Lampton Economics's insight:

Ofqual investigating course providers who allow foreign students to submit plagiarized work, likely to fuel concern about student visa system - IH  #ECON3 

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Carpet firms change after OFT probe

Carpet firms change after OFT probe | ECON 3 | Scoop.it

"Two carpet chains agree to change their pricing practices, following an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT)."

"United Carpets used promotions using the phrases "closing down sale" or "closing down for refurbishment" without giving a proper explanation.

A website called Floors2go advertised prices without VAT, and made incorrect claims about savings on offer"

Lampton Economics's insight:

OFT cracking down on "SALE" prices and prices advertised without VAT included which consumers can never get - SR #ECON3

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