Reform of UK Competition Regime – One Step Closer

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On 15 March, 2012, almost a year since a public consultation was launched, the UK Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) announced wide reaching changes to the UK competition regime. The reforms straddle almost every area of competition law, though stops short of the more radical changes that were originally proposed. In particular, the UK’s Competition Commission (CC) and the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) will be merged into a single competition authority to be known as the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and it will no longer be necessary to prove ‘dishonesty’ to secure a criminal cartel offence conviction.

Background

The March 2011 consultation explained that the key aims of the proposed reforms were to:

- improve the robustness of decisions and strengthen the competition law regime;

- support the competition authorities in taking forward the right cases; and

- improve speed and predictability for business...

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