ICN Market Studies work

Market studies are research projects conducted to gain an in-depth understanding of how sectors, markets, or market practices are working. It is widely acknowledged that market studies can help to build competition authorities’ capacity and promote better market outcomes. ICN members conduct market studies for a variety of purposes, but they are conducted primarily in relation to concerns about the function of markets arising from one or more of the following:

  • (i)       firm behaviour;
  • (ii)      market structure;
  • (iii)      information failure;
  • (iv)     consumer conduct;
  • (v)      public sector intervention in markets;
  • (vi)     other factors which may give rise to consumer detriment.

The ICN has developed a range of guides and tools to help competition authorities when planning and carrying out market studies.

Market Studies Information StoreMarket Studies Project Report (2009)

The Guiding Principles for Market Studies is a booklet which aims to offer case officers and staff responsible for strategic planning and conducting market studies an understanding of the overarching issues to consider when undertaking market studies. The principles contained in the booklet derive from and complement the good practices identified in the Good Practice Handbook.

The Market Studies Good Practice Handbook identifies a number of good practices in conducting market studies that competition authorities have found to be beneficial and effective. Each chapter of the Handbook provides details of key steps that a market studies process may involve, including identifying and selecting a market to study, scoping and planning the study, stakeholder engagement, collecting and analysing information, and developing and securing outcomes. ICN members are encouraged to select from the good practices according to their own needs, priorities and resources, and subject to their differing legal powers and duties.