A regulatory authority is a governmental competition policy institution. The tasks of a regulatory authority usually go beyond those of a normal antitrust authority ; While the latter usually exercise ex post control of markets , regulatory authorities are often characterized by strong instruments of ex ante control , such as B. Price or product approvals. Regulators are often industry-specific; they are created for those sectors in which an ex-post control is not sufficient to the va competition to maintain or promote.
Usually regulated markets
Regulatory authorities can often be found in monopoly-prone markets that cannot or cannot be fully opened to competition. Examples of monopoly-prone markets are line-bound or network-bound sectors in which the construction of parallel networks is either not desired or makes no sense for economic reasons. Typical sectors in which such regulation takes place are telecommunications, postal, rail, radio, gas and electricity markets, as well as water supply and sanitation. Without regulation, such markets can fail .
Supervisory authorities for the implementation of special regulations, such as the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, also belong to the regulatory authorities in a broader sense.
Examples of regulators
Regulatory authorities in German-speaking countries:
- Germany: Today's Federal Network Agency was established in 1998 as the "regulatory authority for telecommunications and post" to deregulate the markets for post and telecommunications and since 2006 has also been responsible for other network markets (electricity, gas, railways). It is therefore a cross-sector federal regulatory authority. State regulatory authorities are responsible for networks in the electricity and gas network area that are only located in one federal state and to which fewer than 100,000 customers are connected.
- Belgium: The Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications is responsible for regulatory tasks in the postal and telecommunications market.
- Liechtenstein: Regulatory tasks in the telecommunications market are carried out by the Office for Communication of the Liechtenstein State Administration .
- Austria: E-Control is responsible for regulating the Austrian electricity and gas market . The Austrian communications authority is responsible for the telecommunications market . Rail Control GmbH regulates rail traffic .
- Switzerland: Regulatory tasks in the telecommunications market are performed by the Federal Office of Communications . In the postal sector, the Federal Postal Commission PostCom has been the regulatory authority since October 1, 2012 , replacing the postal regulatory authority (PostReg). Since 2008 the Electricity Commission (ElCom) has been regulating the electricity market based on the Electricity Supply Act .
- List of regulators in natural monopoly markets (energy, telecommunications and post, railways)
- List of financial supervisory authorities for the financial market, banking and insurance sectors
- List of regulatory authorities ( memento of March 13, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) for energy, communication and transport in Europe