In many ways modern utility regulation can be perceived of as a branch of New Public Management (NPM). Utility regulation shares with NPM an emphasis on decentralised decision making, the use of agencies, a stress on expertise, semi-autonomous decision making, technocratic governance and business-like management practices together with the prevailing belief in as much privatisation and competition as possible. In addition, both developed and diffused across many parts of the world within the same period of history: from the 1980s onwards.