The UK National Security and Investment Act 2021 (Act) was given Royal Assent on 29 April 2021. When it comes into force later
Continue Reading UK National Security and Investment Act: Comprehensive and Rigorous Control Over Acquisitions of Businesses and Assets

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has recently published the findings of research it commissioned to examine UK businesses’ understanding of competition law.  The aim of the research was to gauge businesses’ awareness of competition law, their understanding of anti-competitive behaviours and the resulting penalties, businesses’ preferred sources of information about compliance, and the awareness of the CMA and what it does.

A link to the report can be found here.  Some of the key findings of the report include:

  • Indicators and risks of anti-competitive behaviour: 73 percent of businesses monitor prices of competitors.  Price monitoring is most likely by large businesses and in the agricultural, wholesale, retail and transportation sectors.  Remarkably 7 percent of businesses interviewed stated that they contacted their competitors directly to find out their prices.
  • Awareness of competition law: business respondents expressed a greater concern with compliance with other regulations (such as health and safety law and employment law).  This perhaps explains the low understanding of the illegality of the following: resale price maintenance (29 percent), market-sharing (40 percent), and price-fixing (55 percent).
  • Awareness and understanding of CMA and its role: only 10 percent of businesses reported seeking information on competition law (rising to 52 percent for larger businesses).  The Internet was cited as the largest source of information.  Interestingly, 57 percent of businesses had not heard of the CMA (39 percent amongst large businesses) and only 2 percent felt they knew the CMA well.

Continue Reading UK Businesses’ Understanding of Competition Law

On 26 September 2014, the Competition & Markets Authority (“CMA”) issued its final order implementing changes to the UK’s statutory audit market (the “Final Order”). By way of background, this action represents the final step in a process which commenced in March 2011 when the House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs urged the Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”), the CMA’s predecessor, to investigate the UK audit market. Following an initial investigation by the OFT, an in-depth analysis of the market by the Competition Commission (“CC”) – now also subsumed into the CMA – concluded that competition in the audit market was restricted by factors which inhibit companies from switching auditors.
Continue Reading The Competition & Markets Authority Imposes Changes to the UK’s Audit Market with Significant Implications for FTSE 350 Companies