Antitrust enforcement in the UK’s regulated sectors is a high priority for the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and designated sector regulators (such as the Financial Conduct Authority, Ofwat, Ofgem, Civil Aviation Authority etc.). Following procedural and legal reforms intended to strengthen enforcement by the sectoral regulators, the CMA has published its second Annual Concurrency Report, assessing how competition law is being applied in the regulated sectors.
In this article published by Practical Law we examine the main developments that have taken place since the introduction on 1 April 2014 of the enhanced concurrency arrangements brought into force by the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013. The article also comments on the key trends that have become apparent including the following:
- the increased influence of the Competition and Markets Authority in the regulated sectors when compared to its predecessors;
- a marked increase in new Competition Act 1998 investigations in year 1 of the enhanced concurrency arrangements followed by a reduction in new cases in year 2;
- the increased use of ‘softer enforcement’; and
- sector regulators’ reluctance to use their powers under the Enterprise Act 2002 to carry out competition-focused market studies.
The article also considers the potential impact of enhanced concurrency in the development of markets and regulation and the possibility of pooling enforcement resources at the UK and EU levels.
Read the full article 'The first two years of enhanced concurrency: a mixed bag'.