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Govt announces plans for Competition and Markets Authority

OFT chairman Philip Collins

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.”


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There are 3 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. All well and good but who protects us from the Government when they make a mistake?

    It seems everyone is protected from every mistake you can find, except those by Government and the FSA.

  2. The OFT, which is supposed to be a consumer advocate body, has failed horribly in promoting both competition and fairness.

    The OFT was responsible for the ending of the maximum commission agreement and was also responsbile for depolarisation.

    In each instance their logic was that consumers would be better off due to enahnced competition. The reality, which anybody with an IQ above 57 could have advised them, was an increase in commission levels and an increase to consumer confusion.

    I for one will not be sorry to see the oFT disappear as they have proved counter-productive to progress and common-sense.

  3. It was the predecessor of Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, namely the Dept. for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, that was responsible for the creation of the Statutory Code of Practice for Regulators (which everyone of us should read and draw to the attention of our MP’s) and look how much notice the FSA has ever taken of that ~ damn all. The Department for Business Innovation & Skills doesn’t even bother to acknowledge enquiries as to who is responsible for policing the Code, so what difference is this latest announcement going to make to any of us out here?

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