Competition and consumer policy reforms: power to the CMA

On 20 July 2021, the government launched a consultation containing substantial proposals that could herald the most important reform of the UK competition regime in 25 years and represent seismic changes to how consumer law is enforced. If implemented, these proposals will result in a stronger and more powerful Competition and Markets Authority, albeit one that is more overtly the subject of influence from government.

The stated aims of the proposals are to produce an improved competition regime, in order to help the government to address its “levelling up” agenda and “build back better” strategy in the context of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the government seeks to empower the CMA to become a micro-economic sibling for the Bank of England by tasking it with monitoring the state of competition in key UK markets.

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Next steps

The proposed reforms to the competition and consumer regimes will have a significant impact on businesses and consumers. If implemented, businesses, whether directly consumer-facing or not, should expect greater levels of scrutiny from the CMA, and swifter and more direct intervention where the CMA decides to investigate or otherwise identifies concerns.

However, the proposals are not yet set in stone, and interested parties have until 1 October 2021 to provide feedback to the government on the proposals.

Get in touch to discuss the published consultations and the impact some of the proposals might have on your business. We have a deep understanding of the regulatory landscape as well as extensive experience working inside government and advising on this Government’s policy priorities. Let us help you to engage with the Government and relevant stakeholders as part of this consultation process.

This article first appeared in the September 2021 issue of PLC Magazine.

 

 

Authors Christopher Hutton, Christopher Peacock, and Joe Beautridge.

Contacts
Christopher Hutton
Partner
London
Christopher Peacock
Senior Associate
London
Joe Beautridge
Associate
London
Susan Bright
Partner
London
Angus Coulter
Partner
London
Mark Jones
Partner
London
Ciara Kennedy-Loest
Partner
London
Suyong Kim
Partner
London
Paul Castlo
Counsel
London
Alice Wallace-Wright
Counsel
London
Matt Giles
Senior Knowledge Lawyer, ACER
London

 

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