Policy report

Two thirds of businesses do not know that the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) enforces competition law in the United Kingdom; two fifths have never heard of it, and one in ten discuss prices with their competitors because they do not know the practice is illegal.

In this report,  former CMA Chair, Andrew Tyrie, expresses his concern that the CMA’s effectiveness will be eroded without urgent reform. Its relative invisibility currently undermines the CMA’s capacity to deter uncompetitive and unfair trading. Consumers, and the economy as a whole, are both paying the price.

Among his suggestions for immediate reform are greater openness to consumer complaints, through the introduction of a simple online form to alert the CMA to rip-offs in products and services; the publication of regular progress reports on its work and the state of UK markets; and far more comprehensive collection and analysis of data on the health of competition in the economy – something on which, so far, the CMA has done insufficient work.

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