On 15 March 2012, the UK’s Department for Business Innovation and Skills (“BIS”) announced its plans for the reform of the UK competition regime. These proposals were crystallised on 23 May 2012 in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill (the “Bill”).
The proposals set out in the Bill include amendments to the existing legal rules and certain procedures, as well as a major structural shakeup of the enforcement institutions, the Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) and the Competition Commission (“CC”). As part of a wider rationalisation of UK governmental organisations, the OFT and CC are to be merged into a single entity, the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) by April 2014.
This article highlights the main institutional and operational changes that will accompany this structural shift. It goes on to consider other key proposals contained in the Bill relating to merger control and the criminal “cartel offence”.
Continue Reading Reform of the UK competition regime