Utilities Law Review - Volume 21 - Issue 2

Merger Control in the UK Utilities Sector
Alan Davis and Marguerite Lavedan Jones Day, London 

This article provides an overview of the merger control regime applicable to the utilities sector in the United Kingdom. The article covers legislation and relevant authorities, triggers and thresholds, the notification process and substantive review of utilities merger under UK law.

Ofgem's Recent Trends in Enforcement: Settlements, Redress and the Consumer's Interest
Maribel Canto-Lopez
University of Leicester

Ofgem is conscious that enforcement is key to deter energy companies from breaching their obligations to consumers. In 2010 an Enforcement Review was launched; as a consequence, in 2014, a new Enforcement Guideline and a Statement of Policy on Penalty and Redress were published. Many more changes in the enforcement landscape have come to light after the Enforcement Review but probably the most obvious one is the recent remarkable increase in redress to consumers. This redress is also agreed during the new settlement procedures in the context of sectoral cases. While there are some questions regarding the allocation of monies to affected consumers and charities, this new enforcement trend of voluntary redress to consumers is definitely a right step towards companies putting consumers first. 

Case Comments
Ofcom's Strategic Digital Communications Review: A Missed Opportunity for the UK Telecommunications Sector?
Tom Cassels, Nicole Kar and Elizabeth Hookham
Linklaters LLP

An overview and assessment of the initial conclusions from Ofcom's Strategic Review of Digital Communications, focusing on Ofcom's proposals for increasing BT's independence from its wholesale division Openreach. 

An Overview of the Measures Introduced under Maltese Law to Reduce the Cost of Deployment of High-speed Electronic Communications
Paul Edgar Micallef University of Malta

In line with the requirements of Directive 2014/61/EU on measures to reduce the cost of deploying high-speed electronic communications networks, in April 2016 Malta enacted various legislative measures replicating the substantive provisions of the Directive whilst providing for the regulatory and adjudicative bodies to deal with different aspects of the Directive. One salient measure introduced is the establishment of a specialised quasi-adjudicative body - the Utilities Networks Dispute Resolution Board - to determine disputes that may arise. The new law also provides for a Utilities Services Advisory Committee, whilst empowering different sectoral authorities with specific roles with the purpose of ensuring effective implementation of the Directive.