IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Regulatory Perception of the Marketing Function: an Interpretation of UK Competition Authority Investigations 1950-2005


  • John K. Ashton

    () (Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia)

  • Andrew Pressey

    () (Norwich Business School, University of East Anglia)


This paper explores and quantifies the link between marketing and rulings on competition or antitrust law made by UK competition or antitrust authorities. This examination is timely due to both the changing form and increasing severity of competition law in the UK and the strong associations identified between marketing and antitrust law in the US literature. Through a comprehensive examination of past UK competition rulings from 1950-2005, the frequency and content of the principal forms of uncompetitive behaviour during the last half century are recorded. A high proportion of competition law violations are associated with the marketing function. UK competition authorities have viewed specific marketing practices and, more generally, the direction, scope and scale of marketing activity to be causes for concern. We conclude that marketers need to develop a greater awareness of competition law and contribute more to the ongoing discussion as to the present and future form of competition policy.

Suggested Citation

  • John K. Ashton & Andrew Pressey, 2007. "The Regulatory Perception of the Marketing Function: an Interpretation of UK Competition Authority Investigations 1950-2005," Working Papers 07-1, Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia.
  • Handle: RePEc:ccp:wpaper:wp07-01

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Steven Salop & Joseph Stiglitz, 1977. "Bargains and Ripoffs: A Model of Monopolistically Competitive Price Dispersion," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 493-510.
    2. Charles Kahn & George Pennacchi & Ben Sopranzetti, 1999. "Bank Deposit Rate Clustering: Theory and Empirical Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(6), pages 2185-2214, December.
    3. Grossman, Sanford J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1980. "On the Impossibility of Informationally Efficient Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 393-408, June.
    4. Berger, Allen N & Hannan, Timothy H, 1989. "The Price-Concentration Relationship in Banking," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(2), pages 291-299, May.
    5. Richard H. Thaler & Cass R. Sunstein, 2003. "Libertarian Paternalism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 175-179, May.
    6. Eldar Shafir & Peter Diamond & Amos Tversky, 1997. "Money Illusion," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 341-374.
    7. David Neumark & Steven A. Sharpe, 1992. "Market Structure and the Nature of Price Rigidity: Evidence from the Market for Consumer Deposits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 657-680.
    8. Kee H. Chung & Bonnie F. Van Ness & Robert A. Van Ness, 2004. "Trading Costs And Quote Clustering On The Nyse And Nasdaq After Decimalization," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 27(3), pages 309-328.
    9. Kaushik Basu, 2006. "Consumer Cognition and Pricing in the Nines in Oligopolistic Markets," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(1), pages 125-141, March.
    10. Heffernan, Shelagh A, 1997. "Modelling British Interest Rate Adjustment: An Error Correction Approach," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 64(254), pages 211-231, May.
    11. Schindler, Robert M. & Wiman, Alan R., 1989. "Effects of odd pricing on price recall," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 165-177, November.
    12. Cass R. Sunstein & Richard H. Thaler, 2003. "Libertarian paternalism is not an oxymoron," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 48(Jun).
    13. Richard W. Kopcke & Jane Sneddon Little & Geoffrey M.B. Tootell, 2004. "How humans behave: implications for economics and economic policy," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, pages 3-35.
    14. Franks, Julian & Mayer, Colin & Correia da Silva, Luis, 2003. "Asset Management and Investor Protection: An International Analysis," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199261932, June.
    15. Hannan, Timothy H. & Liang, J. Nellie, 1993. "Inferring market power from time-series data : The case of the banking firm," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 205-218, June.
    16. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1986. "Rational Choice and the Framing of Decisions," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages 251-278, October.
    17. Heffernan, Shelagh A., 2002. "How do UK financial institutions really price their banking products?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(10), pages 1997-2016, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Marketing; marketing practices; competition law; antitrust law; anticompetitive behaviour;

    JEL classification:

    • M31 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Marketing
    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • L42 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Vertical Restraints; Resale Price Maintenance; Quantity Discounts

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ccp:wpaper:wp07-01. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Cheryl Whittkaer). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.