Market monitoring

The expansion of the business retail market to further eligible non-household customers in England in April 2017 opened a new chapter in our approach to regulation. We expect to rely primarily on ex-post regulation and our concurrent competition law powers. A strong monitoring framework plays an important role in supporting this form of regulation. It allows us to:

  • understand whether the market is working well;
  • consider regulatory interventions that could improve the effectiveness of competition; and
  • intervene in an appropriate manner to protect customers’ interests.

We cannot predict how the market will develop. However, well-functioning markets have certain clear hallmarks, such as:

  • customers are confident in their ability to engage with the market in their best interests;
  • customers overall benefit from some combination of lower prices, better service levels and more innovative products and services;
  • there are no undue barriers to entry, expansion and exit, ensuring that efficient providers can enter the market and expand and inefficient providers can exit without detriment to their customers;
  • customers find switching providers and deals easy and make informed decisions when doing so;
  • the extent of anti-competitive behaviour, such as margin squeeze by dominant providers, is limited; and
  • customers are treated fairly, have accurate information about the offers available in the market and are not subject to mis-selling or misleading marketing.

We set out our proposed approach to monitoring in the January 2017 consultation document on our market monitoring framework. We received supportive responses from our stakeholders. Our adopted monitoring framework reflects this approach and the comments received. View the decisions and responses document here.

View a summary of what we are doing by clicking on the image below. You can find more detailed information by clicking on the buttons at the bottom of the page.