Trends in Retail Competition

Event date
14 June 2024
Event time
09:00 - 17:30
Oxford week
TT 8
St Catherine's College
Trends in Retail 2024

The event is fully booked. Registration is now closed.

The Symposium returns for its nineteenth meeting, continuing its focus on fast moving consumer goods and policies affecting retailers, private labels and brands.

Those wishing to attend can do so in person or online.

Unsurprisingly in light of recent price volatility, the programme will explore the relationship between price and value, available options when facing cost inflation, sharing of the pie along the supply chain and the perception of price as the primary vector of competition policy. Retailers and producers focus on delivering for shoppers locally while complying with national rules, while there are increasing moves to pan-European purchasing and pricing. Against this backdrop, what do price differences between countries tell us and do they indicate market dysfunction? Separately, recent policy developments have focused on digital markets, with the Digital Markets and Digital Services Acts in the EU and the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill in the UK. Is the right policy balance now being struck for shoppers and competition? The final session will bring together some key themes: a strong focus on price competition, declining margins and growing demands on business to address some major societal challenges. Can markets and competition policy square this circle? 

The Symposium offers a forum for lively and informed debate on the complexity and challenges of markets. It is an opportunity to explore how best to deliver for consumers, while promoting fair and open markets and delivering innovation and growth while meeting some of today’s big challenges.



09.30 Introduction

Professor Ariel Ezrachi

09.40 Panel discussion - Perspectives on retail price competition

Moderator: Michael Grenfell, competition lawyer. Former Executive
Director of Enforcement, CMA


Meltem Bağış Akkaya, Turkish Competition Authority
Dr Reto Batzel, MARCK
Carole Dembour, Fevia
Matthew Johnson, OXERA

10.55 TEA / COFFEE

11.15 A sector review - assessing competition in the UK grocery market
Lucy Eyre, Competition and Markets Authority

11.45 Panel discussion - What do price comparisons between countries tell us?

Moderator: Rona Bar-Isaac, Addleshaw Goddard


Felix Engelsing, Bundeskartellamt
David Foster, Frontier Economics
Sue Hinchliffe, Clifford Chance
Christoph Leibenath, AIM

13.00 LUNCH

14.00 Comparing and contrasting retail and branded supplier business models
George Tucker, RBB Economics

14.20 Panel discussion - Ecosystems vis-à-vis the High Street --Striking the right policy balance for shoppers and competition

Moderator: Professor Ariel Ezrachi, Oxford University


Nitika Bagaria, Keystone
Tim Cowen, Preiskel & Co
Oles Andriychuk, Newcastle University
Max von Thun, Open Markets Institute

15.20 TEA / COFFEE

15.40 Panel discussion - Dynamic markets and social goals – can markets and competition policy deliver?

Moderator: Ian Wright CBE, Food and Drink Export Council


Alec Burnside, Dechert
Phil Evans, Competition Law Forum
Isabelle Le Personnic, JDE Peet’s
Professor Julian Nowag, Lund University

16.45 Closing remarks 

Professor Ariel Ezrachi

17.00 Drinks reception