Press release

CMA launches reviews of old market remedies

The CMA has today started the latest stage in its programme to review existing remedies to see if they are still necessary.

Woman signing papers

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is seeking views on whether to carry out reviews of 13 sets of market remedies that had been put in place by the CMA’s predecessors prior to 2005, and which have not been reviewed recently.

In addition, the CMA has decided to begin the first 2 reviews of market remedies within this programme of work, relating to the Credit Cards (Merchant Acquisition) Order 1990 and undertakings given by Metal Box plc (see notes for editors).

The CMA also recently announced a review of 76 structural merger undertakings given by companies prior to 1 January 2005. It is also consulting on updated guidance on the use of ‘sunset clauses’ in market investigations.

This programme of work, set out in the CMA’s annual plan 2015 to 2016, aims to reduce burdens on business by assessing whether any existing merger and market remedies are no longer necessary.

The CMA has appointed a group of 3 panel members, chaired by Simon Polito, to act as decision-maker in these 2 cases. The CMA is seeking views from interested parties on whether there is a case for removing or varying these remedies.

Adam Land, the CMA’s Senior Director of Remedies, Business and Financial Advisers, said:

The CMA takes its duties in relation to remedies very seriously. As well as making sure that any new remedies we put in place are effective and proportionate, it is right that we keep our old remedies under review, getting rid of any that are no longer needed and fine tuning those that need adjustment. This will help us target our monitoring and enforcement efforts on those remedies which still have a role to play in making markets work well for consumers and business.

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. From 1 April 2014 it took over the functions of the Competition Commission and the competition and certain consumer functions of the Office of Fair Trading, under the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013.
  2. The CMA has a statutory duty under section 88(4) and 88 (5) of the Fair Trading Act 1973, as preserved in Schedule 24 to 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 under the Enterprise Act 2002.
  3. The Metal Box undertakings were given on 22 February 1972 and amended on 16 October 1980 and 5 June 1992.
  4. Enquiries should be directed to Rory Taylor (rory.taylor@cma.gsi.gov.uk, 020 3738 6798) or Siobhan Allen (siobhan.allen@cma.gsi.gov.uk, 020 3738 6460).
  5. For more information on the CMA see our homepage or follow us on Twitter @CMAgovuk, Flickr and LinkedIn.
Published 14 July 2015