David Harbord is the Director of Market Analysis Ltd. He has a BA in Political Economy from the University of Toronto; an MA in Economics from York University; and a PhD in Economics from the London School of Economics. Prior to taking up a career in consulting he pursued an academic career, and held teaching and research positions at Bristol University, the University of Oxford, Stanford University, the University of British Columbia and the London School of Economics.

Since founding Market Analysis in 1995, Dr. Harbord has completed regulatory studies for the World Bank, the European Commission, the Industry Commission of Australia, the Treasury of New South Wales and the Colombian Commission for the Regulation of Energy and Gas. He has acted as an economic adviser to the majority of telecommunications and media companies in the UK, and represented energy companies in the UK, Europe and Australia in regulatory proceedings and competition policy litigation.

He has been involved in many of the most high-profile regulatory inquiries and antitrust cases of recent years, including the Endesa/Iberdrola merger in the Spanish electricity market; the regulatory review of conditional access pricing in the UK pay-TV market; the UK Competition Commission’s two inquiries into mobile operators’ termination charges; the Airtours merger case; the FA Premier League’s sale of television broadcasting rights; the Wanadoo/Orange margin squeeze complaint against BT in the UK broadband market; and Hutchison 3G’s appeals of its SMP designations in the UK and Ireland. He has advised the Polish Office of Telecommunications and Post Regulation and 2 Degrees New Zealand on the regulation of mobile termination rates; and recently gave the keynote address on mobile network economics at the 10th annual Telecommunications and ICT Summit in Auckland, New Zealand.

Dr. Harbord specializes in competition policy generally. He has advised Al Ezz Steel on the law and economics of vertical restraints as they relate to Ezz Steel’s vertical distribution arrangements in Egypt; and has recently prepared an economic analysis of the proposed merger between Orange and T-Mobile in the UK’s mobile telephony market.

Dr. Harbord has considerable experience in energy markets and in auction analysis and design. His widely-cited 1993 Economic Journal paper was the first to directly apply insights from auction theory to the study of decentralized electricity markets. He has advised on Channel 3 license auctions for ITV plc, on the design of Brazilian power contract auctions for the electricity company Cemig, and on the design and implementation of Hutchison 3G’s successful auction for national roaming services. Dr. Harbord has provided extensive advice to H3G UK on Ofcom’s auction for the 3G expansion band; to 3 Sweden on auction design and bidding strategy during the Swedish auction for the 2.6GHz band; to the Colombian Commission for the Regulation of Energy and Gas (CREG) on the performance of auctions for firm energy obligations and the design of wholesale gas market auctions; and to E.ON plc on auctions for power station sites in the UK. Most recently he was appointed to the CREG’s expert panel on energy market reform, analysing the design and performance of Colombia’s capacity market, forward energy market and day-ahead spot market, and provided bidding advice to AES Chivor in Colombia’s first auction for renewable energy contracts. In 2022 he worked with Europe Economics on DG Clima’s auctions for carbon emission allowances in the expansion of their “cap and trade” system to include fuel for buildings and transport.

Dr. Harbord’s academic research focuses on the design and performance of electricity auctions; collusive access pricing agreements; the extra-legal governance of trade agreements; and the welfare economics of alternative approaches to regulating access charges in mobile network markets. He has recently published articles in the Review of Network Economics, the Journal of Competition Law and Economics, the RAND Journal of Economics, the Economic Journal, the International Review of Law and Economics, European Economy, the European Competition Law Review and the Electricity Journal