The Government has announced plans to merge the Office of Fair Trading and the Competition Commission to create a single body responsible for competition.
In a consultation published today, the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills says the new Competition and Markets Authority will reduce the duplication of costs and will increase industry confidence in the system.
Plans include making it easier for the new body to tackle anti-competitive mergers.
The Government also wants faster results for consumers, while reducing the burden on small and medium sized businesses.
Minister for employment relations, consumer and postal affairs Edward Davey says: “The UK competition regime is regarded as one of the best in the world. But it can and should be even better.
“Competition is the cornerstone of growth, innovation and consumer choice. That means we also need to have a strong regime to promote effective competition in markets.
“This is an excellent opportunity to strengthen and streamline the competition regime to deliver better outcomes for consumers and increase business confidence and certainty.”
OFT chairman Philip Collins (pictured) says: “We support the proposed merger which will enable better use of limited public resources as well as providing the opportunity to enhance further the overall consistency and predictability of the regime, which we know is important for business.
“We believe it is essential for the CMA to be able to exercise a full range of both competition and consumer protection powers, so that it can take appropriate and proportionate action against the most harmful conduct while minimising unnecessary burdens on businesses.”