Whether to allow a Vodafone/H3G merger is essentially a trade-off between range of consumer choice and costs of network duplication. With the need for the former diminishing and the latter increasing, the case for approval is strengthened.

H3G is in a negative spiral of small scale, low investment, and low returns. A merger would allow it to form part of a more credible competitor with a transformed returns profile—without rising prices or reduced industry investment levels.

The CMA’s aversion to mergers has been very stringent of late—an approach that risks deterring investment and compromising competitiveness. Consolidation in UK mobile is unlikely to happen without a change of mindset.

Russia’s weaponisation of gas exports to the EU and resulting Continent-wide energy supply crisis also impacts the UK via rising prices on the wholesale market for this commodity

The UK’s imported gas supplies are mainly from the wellhead in Norway and look to be secure from interruption, despite higher demand from EU Member States

The UK is implementing a vast two-year subsidy programme worth c.£150 billion to cushion households and blunt the advance of recession

With 54 million daily active users, half of whom are under the age of 13, online games hub Roblox is much more popular than Fortnite, and still growing rapidly even on top of a sizeable pandemic boost

Roblox is a window into metaverse-like value exchange. The platform pays out about $150 million to developers each quarter through its thriving real-world economy without calling on blockchain―the company must avoid the distraction of NFTs as it attracts more brands

Roblox's success suggests that platforms will remain at the heart of virtual worlds; Roblox itself is a (relatively laissez-faire) gatekeeper, though subject to app store rules in an ongoing financial and policy headache

The cost-of-living crisis facing the UK economy notched up a gear in April, with a shock 9% CPI reading due to the home energy price cap increase; the May reading of 9.1% implies ongoing real income declines. The World Bank warns of the largest commodity shock in 50 years as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine—with prices to remain elevated for 2-3 years

After the pandemic widened social inequality between B2B workers able to accumulate savings through work from home (WFH) and B2C workers who had to continue commuting, the home energy and petrol price crisis is again disproportionately impacting low-income households that cannot WFH

While the UK could find itself in a mild technical recession in Q2 and Q3 2022, base effects from the lockdowns in the first half of 2021 are certain to produce a higher annual level of GDP for 2022, with the OECD forecasting 3.6% growth, although it also predicts GDP will stagnate in 2023, with significant risks to the downside from further energy supply disruptions

This report is free to access.

The Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland has been a thorn in the side of relations between the UK and the European Union (EU) since the ink was barely dry. It seeks to uphold the Belfast Good Friday Agreement concluded in 1998, which established power-sharing between unionists and nationalists, but this has collapsed since February 2022, because the unionists, supported by the UK Government, oppose Northern Ireland being carved out from the UK Internal Market

By doing so, the Protocol removes any requirement for customs formalities for goods crossing the land border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The Protocol led to a customs border in the Irish Sea for 'exports' from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, and also requires Parliament to legislate the EU Single Market for goods in Northern Ireland and to carve out the territory from otherwise applicable UK legislation

UK divergence from the rules of the EU Single Market will threaten Northern Ireland’s position in UK supply chains and also potentially undermine the EU Single Market, which is of concern to the EU, especially for matters of human health, such as “genetically modified organisms” (GMOs). This report concludes that a revised agreement should be attached to the EU/UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), which then applies to all of the UK

On 12 May 2022, Enders Analysis co-hosted the annual Media and Telecoms 2022 & Beyond Conference with Deloitte, sponsored by Barclays, Financial Times, Meta, and Deloitte Legal

With up to 500 attendees and over 40 speakers from the TMT sector, including leading executives, policy leaders, and industry experts, the conference focused on regulation, infrastructure, and how new technologies will impact the future of the industry

These are edited transcripts of Sessions 1-3 covering: regulation and legislation, PSB renewal, and clarity in the age of non-linear transmission. Videos of the presentations are also available on the conference website

This report is free to access.

The Glasgow Climate Pact agreed at COP26 sets out national pledges to achieve net zero and contain global warming to 1.8°C above its pre-industrial levels— COP27 will buttress pledges, now at risk from the energy crisis, and advance some nations to 2030.

The TMT sector is a leader on net zero in the private sector. Companies that measure their end-to-end carbon footprint throughout their supply chain—as many do in the UK’s TMT sector—can target their GHG emissions.

The TMT sector underpins the UK’s vibrant digital economy that enables hybrid work-from-home (WFH), which reduces fossil fuel use thus heading off both the energy crisis and the climate crisis.

The EU’s GDPR enforcers have ruled that IAB Europe’s framework for collecting user consent, a standard used by about 80% of sites on the continent, is in violation of the regulations

This is one of the clearest signs yet that regulation is starting to catch up with Apple and Google’s privacy push, as support for cookies and mobile ad IDs is due to end over the next few years

Publishers must prepare now by treating privacy as a core part of user experience and adopting a reader-first revenue model that also supports advertising in a trusted environment

As part of the House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee inquiry into the future of BBC funding, Claire Enders gave oral evidence. Here we reproduce her accompanying slides.

The presentation highlights the reliance placed upon the BBC for information during the pandemic, and contextualises the value of the licence fee to consumers alongside the cost of other sources of news and entertainment. It further notes the significant proportion of viewers that lack the means, or do not wish, to pay for any video service beyond the cost of the licence fee.       

While a subscription model has been mooted as an alternative to the licence fee, recent volatility in the market has magnified concerns around the sustainability of the streaming model, and while growing penetration and investment in content by these services remains impressive, there is less certainty around the future plurality and distinctiveness of these platforms, and the related cost to subscribers.