Market studies assess whether competition in a market is working efficiently, and identify measures to address any issues that are identified. These measures can include recommendations such as proposals for regulatory reform or improving information dissemination amongst consumers. They can also include the opening of antitrust investigations
OECD work on market studies
During a first roundtable discussion on market studies in 2008, delegations agreed on some key points, including the primary purposes of market studies, situations where they might prove to be useful, and options to enhance their efficiency.
In 2014, an OECD-UK project was launched to provide support to Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama and Peru in their use of market studies as an important competition tool, leading to a report in March 2015. In a subsequent project sponsored by the UK, the Secretariat continued working with each individual jurisdiction to develop their legal framework on market studies (Costa Rica) or to support the production of an actual market study in line with international best practices (Colombia) or to develop internal policy guidance documents (Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama and Peru).
In 2015, the OECD carried out a survey to identify definitions, procedures, institutions and powers in relation to market studies across 48 jurisdictions. The responses revealed areas in which further work would prove useful to identify best practices in market studies.
In 2016, market studies have been selected as a long-term theme for discussions at the OECD Competition Committee. From 2016 to 2018, the OECD held roundtables, hearings and workshops on subjects which included:
The exchange of experience among competition authorities and external experts generated a collection of shared knowledge that agencies can rely on when developing guidelines and best practices on the most efficient mechanisms and procedures for carrying out market studies. The 2018 Market Studies Guide for Competition Authorities summarises all this work.
Chronology of OECD work
The OECD Market Studies Guide for Competition Authorities describes the process and different steps of a competition market study and can be used by competition authorities, or policymakers more broadly when executing market studies and designing their framework.
Country Market Studies
Using the Market Studies Guide for Competition Authorities, the OECD reviews sectors - such as electricity or banking - in specific countries to promote and protect competition in their economies, supporting better outcomes for consumers in terms of innovation and prices, and foster long-lasting growth. See our recent work with:
Documents and links
2020 GFC Global Forum on Competition
2016 Global Forum on Competition:
2014 Project on promoting market studies in Latin America