The bill on local public services reform is an important step in the current liberalization and regulatory reform process in the utilities sector. The paper reconstructs the conceptual framework underlying the bill and discusses the main criticisms on it. The analysis highlights that the key objective of the reform is to promote competition "in" the market and competition "for" the market, and that the bill consistently designs the regulatory role of the local government. Therefore the reform offers a "tool box" based on procompetitive regulation of the access to essential networks, on competitive bidding for the right to manage local natural monopolies and on their regulation during the concession period. Finally, it devises a viable transition route towards the new regime.