Technical assistance for the Armenian Competition Protection Commission – ongoing

Lear has been appointed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to provide technical assistance to the Armenian Competition Protection Commission (“CPC RA”). The project, funded by the European Union, aims at supporting the institutional development, policy enforcement capacity, and advocacy activities of the CPC RA; it will be a comprehensive capacity building programme based on trainings, advocacy support, market studies, and secondary legislation drafting. The project also envisages the organization of several study visits to other national competition authorities and the participation of SCPEC RA staff members to international events.

Capacity Building for the Albanian Competition Authority

Lear is implementing a technical assistance project funded by the EBRD for the Albanian Competition Authority (“ACA”). The project aims at strengthening ACA’s advocacy role in the country as well as the skills and competencies of its officials and case handlers, through the following activities: (1) preparation and promotion of a long-term strategy for “Competition Advocacy and Communication”; Continue reading Capacity Building for the Albanian Competition Authority

Increasing the Effectiveness of Competition Advocacy

Lear provided technical assistance to the Jamaican Fair Trading Commission, the local competition agency, to increase the effectiveness of competition advocacy in the country. The main milestones of the projects were: to review the international best practices and to assess the effectiveness of the Fair Trading Commission’s advocacy interventions; to propose recommendations and outline appropriate advocacy tools and strategies as well as a well-sequenced Implementation Plan that the Jamaican Fair Trading Commission may implement in order to increase the likelihood that its opinions and other interventions are accepted/implemented; to build capacity within the Jamaican Fair Trading Commission on the relevant competition advocacy tools to support the implementation of the proposed recommendations.

Capacity Building for Bulgaria’s Commission on Protection of Competition

Lear provided technical assistance to the Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition to strengthen the skills and competencies of its officials and case handlers on competition law enforcement. The project aimed at building the skills and knowledge necessary for officials and case handlers to perform antitrust and merger investigations in line with best international practice.

To this purpose, the project included: (i) the delivery of a formal, classroom-based training programme combining a review of main economic and legal concepts in competition law enforcement with the assessment of relevant EU case law; (ii) the provision of a toolkit on ex-post evaluation of merger decisions, in the form of a short manual containing the description of the empirical methodologies and examples of recent studies.

Lear’s team, with the help of external experts, delivered seven trainings at the Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition premises covering both legal and economic aspects of competition policy and public procurement, and in particular 1) the basic econometrics theory; 2) micro-economic applications with Stata; 3) abuse of superior bargaining power; 4) ex-post evaluation of the effects of mergers control decisions; 5) sector inquiries and market monitoring; 6) protection of rights in public procurement system; 7) optimal design of tenders in public procurement in order to prevent collusion.

Creating the Framework for a Merger Review

Lear assisted the Planning Institute of Jamaica. The project was financed by the World Bank Group. The main objectives of this assignment were the following: to develop and draft new merger provisions in the Fair Competition Act along with its supporting regulations as required; to ensure that the proposals reflect efficiency of merger control policy and control of unwarranted concentration of economic power so that the costs for businesses are proportionate to the expected benefits and investments in Jamaica; to conduct training for the staff of Planning Institute of Jamaica and relevant stakeholders in mergers and acquisitions to support the implementation of the proposed amendments to the Fair Competition Act, regulations and guidelines.

 

Assessment of Regulatory Obstacles to Competition in Kuwait

Lear provided technical assistance in conducting the analysis of product market regulation (“PMR”) in Kuwait. The project entailed the analysis of the Kuwaiti economy – as aided by responses to the product market regulation questionnaire – to identify sectors where regulation risks were stifling competition. Moreover, Lear conducted an in-depth assessment of four sectors of the Kuwaiti economy to identify anti-competitive rules and unsatisfactory market outcomes within such sectors.

Capacity Building for Bulgaria’s Commission on Protection of Competition (EBRD)

Lear is providing technical assistance to the Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition (“CPC”) to strengthen the skills and competencies of its officials and case handlers on competition law enforcement. The project aims at building the skills and knowledge necessary for officials and case handlers to perform antitrust and merger investigations in line with best international practice.
To this purpose, the project includes: (i) the delivery of a formal, classroom-based training programme combining a review of main economic and legal concepts in competition law enforcement with the assessment of relevant EU case law; (ii) the provision of a toolkit on ex-post evaluation of merger decisions, in the form of a short manual containing the description of the empirical methodologies and examples of recent studies.

Lear’s team, with the help of external experts, has indeed delivered seven trainings at the CPC premises covering both legal and economic aspects of competition policy and public procurement, and in particular:

1. The basic econometrics theory
2. Micro-economic applications with Stata
3. Abuse of superior bargaining power
4. Ex-post evaluation of the effects of mergers control decisions
5. Sector inquiries and market monitoring
6. Protection of rights in public procurement systems
7. The optimal design of tenders in public procurement

Assessment of Regulatory Obstacles to Competition in Egypt (The World Bank Group)

Lear provided technical assistance to the World Bank Group in conducting the analysis of product market regulation in Egypt. The project aimed at identifying those markets of the Egyptian economy that are currently affected by anti-competitive regulations.
The project encompassed two work streams: (i) drafting a set of guidelines on fines, settlements and damages to be adopted by the Egyptian Competition Authority in the ongoing reform effort on leniency, exemptions and economic assessment of efficiencies; and (ii) performing a competition assessment to identify those markets of the Egyptian economy that are currently suffering from anti-competitive regulations.
The assessment was informed by the OECD product market regulation methodology and included a detailed analysis of the regulatory framework of key sectors and policies, benchmark analysis of Egypt compared to international practices, recommendations on how to promote competition in those markets and expected/potential impact thereof.

Policymakers’ Guide to Conducting Competition Assessments in Key Markets in Rwanda (The World Bank Group)

Lear was selected by the World Bank Group to help develop a Policymakers’ Guide to Conducting Competition Assessments in Key Markets in Rwanda. This Guide includes sections addressing several issues in conducting a competition assessment, including: how to undertake economic analysis of sectors and markets; how to identify alternative policy solutions that reduce negative impact of regulations on competition; practical elements of conducting a competition assessment.

Competition Assessment in the Retail Banking sector in GCC countries (The World Bank Group)

Lear provided technical assistance to the World Bank Group in performing a competition assessment of the retail banking sector in the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council. The study specifically focused on the SME segment. Lear collected information on laws, regulations and practices in the SME retail banking market in Gulf Cooperation Council countries, screened them, and identified unnecessary regulatory restrictions to competition and institutional inefficiencies. The study aimed at proposing changes to improve the regulatory and institutional environment, and ultimately increase access to financial services for SMEs while maintaining the stability of the banking sector. Within the scope of the study, Lear developed a methodology to foster a structured approach to the identification and impact assessment of potentially restrictive regulatory provisions and practices.