Press release

CMA carries on with remedy reviews

The CMA is taking further steps in its drive to ensure that its remedies do not stay in place longer than needed.

Woman signing papers

As part of a series of such reviews, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published provisional decisions on whether to remove or retain remedies resulting from 27 past merger investigations. It is proposing to remove the remedies in 10 of these cases and retain them in another 10. In addition, it considers that remedies have lapsed in 5 cases and has decided not to prioritise looking at the remaining 2 cases.

These decisions - made by a group of 3 panel members, chaired by Simon Polito - result from a review of 76 structural merger undertakings given by companies prior to 1 January 2005. This exercise forms part of a wider programme of reviews, set out in the CMA’s annual plan 2015 to 2016, with the aim of reducing burdens on business by assessing whether past merger and market remedies should be released.

The CMA has also issued its final decisions in relation to a further 12 merger remedies, following its provisional decisions published last month. It has decided to release the companies concerned from 11 of these - while keeping the undertakings in place in one case.

Chair of the Remedies Review Group, Simon Polito, said:

We are continuing to look at removing remedies where they are no longer appropriate, eliminating the administrative burden on affected businesses and with the wider aim of allowing us to target our resources on those remedies which are still relevant.

However we have also provisionally decided to keep remedies in 10 of these cases where the market structures remain similar to the time of the original investigation and we have not seen enough evidence of a change of circumstances to justify removing these safeguards.

Full details on the merger remedies review programme are available on the CMA’s webpages.

Notes for editors

  1. The CMA is the UK’s primary competition and consumer authority. It is an independent non-ministerial government department with responsibility for carrying out investigations into mergers, markets and the regulated industries and enforcing competition and consumer law.
  2. The CMA has a statutory duty under the Fair Trading Act 1973 and the Enterprise Act 2002 to keep under review undertakings and orders. From time to time, the CMA must consider whether, by reason of any change of circumstances: undertakings are no longer appropriate and need to be varied, superseded or released; or an order is no longer appropriate and needs to be varied or revoked. Responsibility for deciding on variation or termination of orders lies with the CMA except for a small number of older remedies where decisions are for the Secretary of State following advice from the CMA.
  3. Enquiries should be directed to Rory Taylor (, 020 3738 6798).
  4. For more information on the CMA see our homepage or follow us on Twitter @CMAgovuk, Flickr and LinkedIn.
Published 18 November 2015