New consumer watchdog launched
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been launched today as the UK’s primary competition and consumer agency.
Bringing together the Competition Commission with the competition and certain consumer functions of the Office of Fair Trading, the CMA has a range of new responsibilities and powers to ensure it meets its mission of making markets work well for consumers, businesses and the economy.
These include tighter timetables for investigations, a stronger role in ensuring competition in regulated sectors like financial services and energy, and a reformed legal framework for prosecuting individuals involved in criminal cartel activity.
In its first annual plan, the CMA will focus on merger control, market studies and investigations, and enforcement of competition and consumer law.
The Authority already has a challenging programme of work in key strategic areas such as banking, energy, payday lending and higher education.