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Reforms proposed to put consumers at the heart of UK competition regime

A major package of proposals to bolster competition and put consumers even more directly at the heart of the CMA’s work has been published.

Business Secretary, Greg Clark, attended an event hosted by Lord Tyrie, the Chairman of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), at which the proposals were launched. These are its initial responses to a request from the Business Secretary last summer for Andrew Tyrie to review the system.

The economy and businesses benefit when the relevant authorities can get to quicker decisions. The CMA’s work is often slowed by a complex web of laws that have accumulated on the statute book over many decades. This is now even more of a problem, given today’s growing digital economy and increasingly fast paced markets. Proposals are needed to tackle this.

The proposals also put the consumer at the heart of the UK competition regime. The CMA’s ability to intervene earlier and more robustly on the side of people would be boosted by:

a new statutory duty on the CMA, and courts applying competition and consumer laws, to treat the interests of consumers, and their protection from detriment, as paramounta new statutory duty on the CMA to conduct its investigations quickly, supported by powers to take action against firms supplying misleading or false informationa statutory responsibility to address the adverse effect on the consumer in all aspects of the CMA’s markets work

These and other reform proposals are being published as part of the CMA’s contribution to the Government’s review of the competition regime and its ongoing reform work flowing from its Consumer Green Paper.


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