The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) investigates mergers and anti-competitive practices in markets and can enforce a range of consumer protection legislation. We derive most of our powers from the Enterprise Act 2002 (EA02) and the Competition Act 1998 (CA98).
Mergers and markets are investigated initially at phase 1, but can be escalated when necessary to more in-depth phase 2 investigations. Decisions on merger and market inquiries referred for phase 2 investigation are taken by independent groups of panel members.
Under the CA98, we’re responsible for investigating where there may be breaches of UK or EU prohibitions against anti-competitive agreements and abuses of dominant positions. We’re also responsible for bringing criminal proceedings against individuals who commit the cartel offence under the EA02.
Under the EA02, we conduct market studies and investigations to assess particular markets where there are suspected competition problems. We can require market participants to take steps to address these problems.
Under the EA02, we investigate mergers that could potentially give rise to a substantial lessening of competition. We can specify measures that the merging parties must take to prevent or unwind integration between them while the investigation takes place.
We conduct regulatory appeals and references in relation to price controls, terms of licences or other regulatory arrangements under sector specific legislation (gas, electricity, water, post, communications, aviation, rail and health).