SCF Event – What does the Government’s industrial strategy mean for competition policy?

The Scottish Competition Forum hosted a discussion of industrial strategy and competition policy on Tuesday 15 May 2018.

An Industrial Strategy was set out by the UK Government as a White Paper at the end of November 2017, with its stated purpose ‘to improve living standards and economic growth by increasing productivity and driving growth across the whole country’. In the strategy the Government sets out its vision for how Britain can build on its economic strengths, address its productivity performance, embrace technological change and boost the earning power of people across the UK.

So far, so good. But how does Government make sure that an industrial strategy does not distort competition on the market by favouring some firms over others? And can competition policy address the productivity challenges that the Government’s industrial strategy seeks to address? At this SCF event, hosted by Dentons, we invited speakers from the UK and Scottish Governments to discuss these questions with competition lawyers, economists and industry.

Our panel consisted of:

  • Catriona Munro, Partner, Competition, Dentons UKME LLP (Chair)
  • Tony Curzon Price, Economic Advisor to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
  • Gary Gillespie, Chief Economist, Scottish Government
  • Robin Noble, Partner, Oxera

Slides: RNoble, GGillespie