Support study for DG COMP for the revision of the Railway Guidelines

Lear, together with E.CA Economics, Sheppard Mullin and University of East Anglia, has been appointed by the European Commission to carry out a study to assist in the revision the Community guidelines on State aid for railway undertakings. The study will provide the Commission with the relevant information to update the Guidelines, to ensure that they are apt to promote the full liberalization of the rail sector and well-aligned with the regulatory developments that ensure a level-playing field in the internal market. In addition, the results of the study will support the EU policy priorities in the context of the digital transition and the Green Deal emphasizing the importance of the modal shift from road to less polluting transport modes such as rail and inland waterways, in order to meet the Union’s emissions reduction target by 2050. The revision of the Guidelines will also consider the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the transport sector in the Member States and seize the opportunities afforded by the recovery plans to exit the crisis while promoting the twin green and digital transformations.

Assessment of competitive dynamics in the retail banking sector

Lear is implementing a technical assistance project aimed at assessing the current competitive dynamics in the retail banking markets of an Asia-Pacific country. The Study entails an initial overview and assessment of the competition level in retail banking markets and two in-depth analyses on: (i) deposit accounts for retail and SME customers and (iii) SME financing products. A set of actionable recommendations for changes in the regulatory environment is then developed with the aim of boosting competition and increasing access to financial services for retail and SMEs customers.

Support study for the European Commission on the State aid rules for the environmental protection and energy

Lear, together with DIW Berlin, E.CA Economics, Sheppard Mullin and University of East Anglia, has been appointed by the European Commission to carry out a background study on State aid in the field of environmental protection and energy. The results of the study supported the Commission in the revision of the EU Guidelines on State aid for environmental protection and energy (EEAG) as well as the respective parts of the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER). The study assisted the Commission in updating the Guidelines to ensure that they were fit-for-purpose, taking into account the general State aid modernisation objectives and the recent regulatory developments (notably the Clean Energy Package, Clean Mobility Package and Circular Economy Package), and that they facilitated the implementation of the European Green Deal. The revision of the Guidelines also took into account the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Member States economies and their funding capabilities together with the deployment of the Recovery Plan for Europe.

Find out more on the published study here
Learn more on the revision of the EEAG and GBER
Read more on our engagement on State-aid rules for environmental protection and energy

Public consultation on the EU Market definition Notice

Lear assisted a major Italian broadcaster in preparing a submission for a consultation launched by the European Commission and aimed at assessing whether the Market definition Notice, adopted by the European Commission in 1997, is still “fit-for-purpose”. Lear economists consulted with the client and drafted the submission on its behalf.

Evaluation study for the European Commission on the State aid rules for operating aid to airports

As part of the ongoing fitness check of current State aid rules, the Directorate General for Competition of the European Commission has appointed a consortium led by Lear and participated by DIW Berlin and Sheppard Mullin, to carry out a study to support its evaluation of the rules regarding airports’ access to operating aid under the EU Aviation Framework applicable as of 2014. Continue reading Evaluation study for the European Commission on the State aid rules for operating aid to airports

Evaluation support study on the EU’s framework regulating State aid for access to finance for SMEs applicable in 2014-2020

Lear, in consortium with Sheppard Mullin and DIW Berlin, was appointed by the European Commission to carry out a study seeking to evaluate the relevance and effectiveness of the rules included in the General Block Exemption Regulation and in the Risk Finance Guidelines, that the Commission set out for Member States to provide aid to Small and Medium Enterprises to facilitate their access to finance. The study relied on: (i) a comprehensive literature review; (ii) interviews with selected stakeholders, i.e. beneficiaries that received support under SME access to finance measures, financial intermediaries involved in risk finance measures, and European and national associations representing SMEs as well as investors active in the SME finance market; (iii) five relevant case studies of national schemes implemented through the General Block Exemption Regulation or the Risk Finance Guidelines.

Final report is avalaible here 

Past merger assessment in technology sector

Lear carried out a research and evaluation project for the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) looking at approaches to assessing potential theories of harm and evaluating past merger decisions in the technology sector. Lear’s report identifies which theories of harm Competition Authorities should investigate when facing a merger in the technology sector and what type of evidence they should rely on to predict potential competition. Moreover, The report provides an ex-ante and ex-post assessment of selected UK cases, to ascertain whether the CMA’s decision was reasonable, and it proved to be correct.

Study on the economic impact of competition policy enforcement on the functioning of telecoms markets in the EU (European Commission – DG competition)

Lear, jointly with DIW Berlin and Analysys Mason, has been retained by DG competition to study the economic impact of competition policy enforcement in the European (“EU”) telecoms markets. The study consists of both a descriptive analysis on the evolution of competition policy enforcement and the functioning of telecoms market over the past 20 years and a quantitative analysis on the impact of competition policy interventions on telecoms markets’ performance. The quantitative analysis deals with the ex-post evaluation of three EC’s decisions in the telecoms sector (a merger, a state aid and an antitrust case). The analyses have been performed through accomplished empirical techniques, such as the difference in differences method, structural models and the synthetic control method.