Competition and consumer policies are key to creating free, open, and competitive markets with high consumer standards that drive growth, innovation, and productivity. A robust regulatory framework which supports healthy competition is crucial to the effective functioning of the economy and supporting both businesses and consumers.
We start from a strong foundation, with well-regarded competition policy, a strong set of consumer rights, multiple routes for consumers to receive advice and enforce their rights, and regulators with powers to step in and enforce the law on consumers’ behalf. But we can do more, and now is the right time to talk about reforms as we build back better from the pandemic. There is evidence that some markets are lacking proper competition, and consumers’ rights in some areas need protecting. This consultation sets out proposals to achieve this, and to deliver the manifesto commitment to give the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) enhanced powers to tackle consumer rip-offs and bad business practices.
The consultation covers proposals under 3 themes on which we’re seeking views:
- promoting competition to drive enterprise, innovation, growth, and productivity
- updating consumer rights to keep pace with markets
- strengthening the enforcement of consumer law by individuals and regulators
We’d like views from:
- consumers and businesses
- those with knowledge and expertise in competition and consumer law and policy and its application
We’re also launching a consultation on a new pro-competition regime for digital markets.
Alongside these consultations, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has written to the CMA to request its advice on how the UK can better use the tools available under competition and consumer law to achieve the government’s net zero and sustainability goals. The advice is due by early 2022.