Competition and Markets Authority
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) succeeded to the role formerly carried out by the Competition Commission from 1 April 2014, together with assuming other work from the disbanded OFT. The CMA works with HM Treasury and the FCA as an independent public body to ensure that competition between companies in the UK remains fair for the benefit of business, consumers and the economy as a whole.
The CMA has responsibilities for:
- investigating mergers that could restrict competition;
- conducting market studies and investigations in markets where there may be competition and consumer problems;
- investigating where there may be breaches of UK or EU prohibitions against anti-competitive agreements and abuses of dominant positions;
- bringing criminal proceedings against individuals who commit the cartel offence;
- enforcing consumer protection legislation to tackle practices and market conditions that make it difficult for consumers to exercise choice;
- cooperating with sector regulators and encouraging them to use their competition powers; and
- considering regulatory references and appeals.
The new Competition and Markets Authority has five strategic goals, which are:
- Delivering effective enforcement — to deter wrongdoing, protect consumers and educate businesses.
- Extending competition frontiers — by using the markets regime to improve the way competition works, particularly within the regulated sectors.
- Refocusing consumer protection — working with its partners to promote compliance and understanding of the law, and empowering consumers to make informed choices.
- Achieving professional excellence— by managing every case efficiently, transparently and fairly, and ensuring all legal, economic and financial analysis is conducted to the highest international standards.
- Developing integrated performance — through ensuring that all staff are brought together from different professional backgrounds to form effective multi-disciplinary teams and provide a trusted competition adviser across the Government.