This note explores the regulatory process of UK privatised utilities through the periodic review of prices. It provides a brief history of the privatisation programme in the UK and the theoretical arguments for the price-cap regulation that has been used. It argues that regulatory process appears to involve a covert dialogue and exchange of information between the regulator and regulated and also a second separate review process that consists of an overt dialogue. Using a semiotic analysis the authors suggest that the unfolding of each of these overt reviews follows a very similar pattern that is constantly being re-enacted. It is concluded that further research is required into the relative importance of the two separate review processes in the setting of the price-cap.
Bibliographical noteThe definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com
- utility industries
- price-cap regulation