The FCA is preparing to go public with an investigation that uses new competition powers for the first time.
The Times reports the investigation has been kept quiet for a year but is close to being made public, and will be seen as a test case for the regulator’s competition powers.
The FCA is said to have written warning letters to several companies saying they may have breached competition rules.
Law firm Clifford Chance senior associate Samantha Ward says: “There are several indications that there is likely to be an increase in competition enforcement activity, notably the expansion of the FCA’s team of competition specialists, plus the fact that it is using its new powers in an ongoing competition investigation.
“Added to this, some firms have been issued with ‘on notice’ letters where the FCA has information about a suspected breach of competition law.”