From today, Tuesday 26 May 2015, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has additional powers to make and publish written recommendations to ministers on the impact of proposals for Westminster legislation on competition within any UK market(s) for goods or services. The existing powers of the CMA under section 7 of the Enterprise Act 2002 have been revised by section 37 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015.
The CMA proposes to use these powers sparingly, applying its published prioritisation principles. It is more likely to use the powers where, based on previous work, wider knowledge and experience, and acting as a constructive expert, it expects to be able to influence the proposals, and believes it is appropriate for the UK competition authority to make its written recommendations on the public record.
The absence of written recommendations from the CMA on a legislative proposal should not be treated as suggesting the CMA has taken a view on, or approved, the proposal.
The CMA will be explicit when it is making recommendations to ministers under the new powers to distinguish these cases from other occasions where it makes proposals or gives information or advice to ministers (which may not be published).
Wherever possible, the CMA will seek to make written recommendations in a timely fashion to allow ministers, Parliament and those likely to be affected by the proposals time to take account of the recommendations.
Any written recommendations made under these powers will be published on the CMA’s webpages.