In both online and bricks-and-mortar markets, themes of consumer choice, innovation, competitiveness and growth continue to dominate European policy, informing the regulation of markets and how they operate.
In the food sector, concerns over choice and innovation have prompted scrutiny of unfair trading practices and how best to address them, while also providing the focus for an important data-rich study for the European Commission (The economic impact of modern retail on choice and innovation in the EU food sector). In online markets, whether for consumer goods or digital services, concerns over competition and the single market prompted a sector inquiry in 2015, with initial findings on geo-blocking now appearing, and with an interim report due in mid-2016.This twelfth Oxford Symposium will explore these themes, focussing on their impact on branded products; competition with private label products; relationships with customers (including buying alliances); and the role of online platforms. The morning programme will concentrate on the food sector while the afternoon will concentrate on the e-commerce sector inquiry and the Digital Single Market. Each programme will close with a discussion, allowing some of the key themes to be developed further. Participation by invitation only