BIS Consultation on Changes to UK Competition Regime

Today, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills released its consultation on the proposals, providing more detail on the scope of the potential reforms. As anticipated, the core proposal of the consultation is the merger of the Office of Fair Trading and the Competition Commission to create a single Competition & Markets Authority. The clear hope here is that the current ‘two tier’ competition law processes – merger control and market investigations – will be streamlined by the creation of the CMA without losing the benefit of the "fresh pair of eyes" review at second stage.

However, the consultation is more wide-ranging than institutional reform, and looks at a range of proposals in and around the core "CMA proposal’ said by BIS to be designed to create efficiencies, stimulate growth, and increase beneficial regulatory activity in all areas of competition law.

The consultation will remain open until 13 June 2011. Timing for the implementation of any changes is unclear but is thought to be 2-3 years away.

Click here to read our full briefing note.

Your Contacts

Eamonn Doran
(+44) 20 7456 3506

Michael Cutting
(+44) 20 7456 3514

Nicole Kar
(+44) 20 7456 4382