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This essay describes the way in which networked services have been privatised in the United Kingdom, focusing on two aspects in particular: first, the original decision to introduce price caps for British Telecom services when the company was privatised in 1984; second, the experience of the British electricity industry after privatisation. These two cases illustrate the development and effects of the shift to private ownership, of the introduction of a system of competition and of the new style of regulation. Although price control based on the RPI-X formula has entailed a certain amount of regulation, comparison with the previous situation suggests that it is reasonable to define the provisions adopted as deregulation. In general, a system of competition has developed capable of challenging the dominant positions of the previous monopoly-holders, efficiency has increased, prices have dropped and service quality has improved.