Market Studies and Competition


© ThinkstockphotosMarket studies assess whether competition in a market is working efficiently, and identify measures to address any issues that are identified. These measures can include recommendations such as proposals for regulatory reform or improving information dissemination amongst consumers. They can also include the opening of antitrust investigations


OECD work on market studies


During a first roundtable discussion on market studies in 2008, delegations agreed on some key points, including the primary purposes of market studies, situations where they might prove to be useful, and options to enhance their efficiency.

In 2014, the OECD carried out a survey to identify definitions, procedures, institutions and powers in relation to market studies across 48 jurisdictions. The responses revealed areas in which further work would prove useful to identify best practices in market studies.

Also in 2014, an OECD-UK project was launched to provide support to Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama and Peru in their use of market studies as an important competition tool, leading to a report in March 2015. In a subsequent project sponsored by the UK, the Secretariat continued working with each individual jurisdiction to develop their legal framework on market studies (Costa Rica) or to support the production of an actual market study in line with international best practices (Colombia) or to develop internal policy guidance documents (Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama and Peru).

In 2016, market studies have been selected as a long-term theme for discussions at the OECD Competition Committee. From 2016 to 2018, the OECD held roundtables, hearings and workshops on subjects which included: 

  • characteristics and categories of market studies;
  • competition authorities’ powers to collect information and impose sanctions for failure to respond to information requests;
  • procedural safeguards for stakeholders;
  • institutional settings;
  • interface of powers held by competition authorities and other governmental bodies on market studies;
  • differences between market studies and market investigations;
  • ex-post evaluation of market studies

The exchange of experience among competition authorities and external experts generated a collection of shared knowledge that agencies can rely on when developing guidelines and best practices on the most efficient mechanisms and procedures for carrying out market studies. The 2018 Market Studies Guide for Competition Authorities summarises all this work. 

Chronology of OECD work


OECD holds a policy Roundtable on Market studies and concludes on the need for future work.


OECD and UK launch project to provide support to Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama and Peru in their use of market studies as a competition tool.


Results of the OECD-UK Latin American project are published.  

A survey carried out by the OECD reveals a variety of approaches in dealing with market studies and identifies the need to better understand their differences, advantages and disadvantages. 


Market studies become a priority topic for future work by the OECD Competition Committee.  

The 2016 Global Forum on Competition holds a discussion on the topic and calls jurisdictions to reply to the 2015 survey. Results received gather data from 59 jurisdictions worldwide. 


workshop held in Paris explored the selections and prioritisation of sectors when carrying out a market study. 

In June a roundtable discussion on Market studies methodologies was held by the Working Party No. 3 on n Co-operation and Enforcement. 


Release of the OECD Market Studies Guide for Competition Authorities


The topic continues trigging interest. Two discussions are held on Competition in digital advertising markets and Using market studies to tackle emerging competition issues.


The guide
The OECD Market Studies Guide for Competition Authorities describes the process and different steps of a competition market study and can be used by competition authorities, or policymakers more broadly when executing market studies and designing their framework. Access the guide.


Documents and links

2021 OECD Market Study of the Electricity Sector in Ukraine

2018 OECD Market Studies Guide for Competition Authorities

2017 Roundtable discussion on Market studies methodologies

2017 Workshop on the selection and prioritisation of sectors or industries for market studies

2016 Global Forum on Competition:

2016 Scoping note on future OECD work / version française

2015 Note on the OECD Survey on market studies (version française)

2014 Project on promoting market studies in Latin America

2008 Best practice roundtable on market studies  

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