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This programme is concerned with the way in which the Price Commission operated until its demise in 1979, and the effect that this body had on firms' pricing policies. The programme shows how firms... were required to apply for a price increase, and illustrates the nature of the criteria employed by the Commission in order to make a decision. More broadly, the programme considers the general theme of institutional intervention, and particularly looks at the concept of perfect competition, a state which the Price Commission seeks to achieve as a means of regulating prices.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: D222, Microeconomics
Item code: D222; 06; 1979
First transmission date: 14-06-1979
Published: 1979
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:50
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Producer: Roger Penfound
Contributors: Don Cooper; Roy Hathaway; Eric Doling; Charles Williams; Shamus Sweetman; Rachel Waterhouse; Roger Opie; John Milne; Roger Utiger; Norman Godfrey
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Economics; Price commission
Footage description: Don Cooper introduces the programme, explaining that since the programme was made the Price Commission has been abolished. He then describes the format of the programme in which he represents the manager of a firm about to give notification to the Commission of a price increase. He now goes through the pre-notification form, describing the type of information needed by the Commission. At the Price Commission headquarters Don Cooper talks to Roy Hathaway, who runs the Monitoring Dept., about how his pre-notification form would be processed on its arrival. He points out several items in the application which could lead to an investigation of the firm's pricing policy by the Commission. Eric Doling, of the Price Commission, explains how the Commission views the criteria, laid out in the Price Commission Act, by which it must act. A pre-notification which causes some disquiet is usually referred back to the company for more information, very occasionally the company then comes under investigation. The company concerned is then invited to meet the Price Commission Chairman or one of the Deputy Chairmen. Charles Williams, Chairman of the Price Commission, explains the purpose of these informal meetings. Shots of the formal Price Commission proceedings. Three members of the Commission, Shamus Sweetman, Rachel Waterhouse and Roger Opie describe the functions of the Commission, stressing its ability to compensate for a possible lack of competitive market forces. Don Cooper explains that the Price Commission must make up its mind to investigate a firm within 28 days. Norman Godfrey, Price Commission, describes the procedures followed once an investigation is decided upon. Don Cooper describes the results of one such investigation into Blue Circle Industries. John Milne, Managing Director of Blue Circle Industries, lists the costs to the firm of the investigation and disputes the Commission's critical report about the firm. Charles Williams explains how the Commission sees itself and what it is trying to achieve. He discusses the ideas of competition and efficiency and how the Commission can promote these in the market place. Roger Utiger, Chairman of the Confederation of British Industries, argues against the idea of the Commission increasing efficiency in industry. Two Government bodies already seek to achieve this end. The Price Commission is superfluous and makes it more difficult for companies to run a competitive pricing policy. Don Cooper winds up the programme by pointing out the differences between the interventionist purposes of the Price Commission and the European Commission.
Master spool number: 6HT/72968
Production number: FOUD054D
Videofinder number: 91
Available to public: no