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Competition aspects of clearing and settlement:learnig the lessons from the regulated industries

Over the last few years, a number of significant regulatory and market developments have highlighted the importance of competition to the current debate on the reform of the EU clearing and settlement sector. Despite its importance, the current debate on competition in this sector remains unfocussed. In this respect, the purpose of this paper is to establish the parameters of the 'competition' debate, for example, by identifying the potential bottlenecks and contestable markets, providing examples of the associated competition concerns and how these concerns could be resolved by reference to the lessons that can be learned from other EU regulated sectors with similar characteristics. As such, the scope of the paper is limited to indicating the possible outlines of a blueprint for the EU clearing and settlement sector, rather than identifying specific regulatory measures in detail, such as the level of access to infrastructure.