Review of Industrial Organization

, Volume 52, Issue 3, pp 451–472 | Cite as

Sectoral Regulators and the Competition Authority: Which Relationship is Best?

  • Pedro P. Barros
  • Steffen H. Hoernig


We consider the interplay between regulatory agencies with overlapping competencies: for example, a competition authority and a sectoral regulator. This reflects the current situation in the European Union and in the US. We analyse how authorities’ incentives to act are affected if they can decide independently, or must follow each others’ opinions, respectively, and consider how this relationship performs in the presence of institutional biases and lobbying efforts. A higher likelihood of closing a case tends to be achieved when the authorities act independently of each other: the probability of coming to a decision is higher, and decisions are less vulnerable to lobbying.


Competition authority Sectoral regulators Institutional relationship Strategic substitutes and Complements Lobbying 

JEL Classification




We would like to thank the editor and an anonymous referee for their suggestions for improving the paper, and Pascal Courty, Abel Mateus, Tore Nilssen, and Karl Schlag for useful comments on earlier versions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nova School of Business and EconomicsLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.CEPRLondonUK

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