bodies were customers. The resulting calculation indicated that the net value of public sector information in the United Kingdom is about 590 million pounds per year. The costs of the three types of detriments were estimated to be ₤20 million from high pricing, ₤140 million from restriction of downstream competition, and ₤360 million from failure to exploit PSI. Thus OFT suggests that the net value of public sector information in the United Kingdom could be increased to approximately ₤1.1 billion pounds by resolving all of the problems already identified.


The reactions to the OFT study were interesting. Clearly, the bottom-up approach is more accurate, not least because the possibility of alternative products and services is considered. As a result, some of the public sector bodies approached OFT immediately and asked for help with their pricing policies to make sure that they were not unfairly competing or restricting competition. The British government accepted many of the study’s recommendations, except the recommendation for a splitting in accounting terms of the upstream and downstream, i.e., the monopolistic and non-monopolistic elements. The Treasury has commissioned Cambridge University to do a cost-benefit analysis of whether to split the accounts and to look at different pricing models. That additional report is expected soon.



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