Start date: 21 January 2011
This market study is now completed.
The aim of this OFT market study was to understand whether the market for organic waste treatment services in England and Wales, in particular the sewage sludge treatment sector, is working well and, if not, what might be done to improve it. The market study followed a request to the OFT from Ofwat and the OFT has worked closely with Ofwat throughout the market study.
The market study has identified a number of barriers to competition related to aspects of economic, environmental and planning regulation, and to the apparent corporate culture of some water and sewerage companies.
The report makes a range of recommendations aimed at promoting competition that will help to drive efficiency and innovation in the sector. The recommendations also propose changes to the economic regulation of water and sewerage companies to foster efficiency and help create a level playing field between them and other suppliers of organic waste treatment. The study also recommends greater harmonisation of the environmental regimes applicable to sewage sludge and other organic waste. In addition, the OFT considers that planning proposals currently under consideration could contribute to greater competition.
The study makes a number of recommendations to Ofwat and other government bodies that have the potential to tackle these barriers to competition, benefit consumers and drive efficiency and innovation in organic waste treatment.
During the course of the market study, the OFT considered whether a reference to the Competition Commission was appropriate. The OFT provisionally decided that a market investigation reference to the Competition Commission would not be appropriate at this time, as it considered that the regulatory barriers and distortions to competition identified in this market study can be better and more proportionately addressed by Ofwat and by other government departments acting on the recommendations in this study.
We consulted on our provisional decision and, having carefully considered the consultation responses the OFT has decided not to make a reference to the Competition Commission on the basis that such a reference would not be appropriate at this time.
Team leader: Carmen Suarez (020 7211 8958) email@example.com
Project director: Peter Lukacs (020 7211 8473) firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior responsible officer: Sonya Branch (020 7211 8707) email@example.com
Any media enquiries should be directed to a member of our Press Office.
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