Alongside this, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has also published its impact assessment report which shows that the CMA and its predecessors have delivered direct financial benefits to consumers of £11.20 for every £1 of taxpayer money received over the past 3 years, exceeding the 10:1 target set by the government.
Work this year focused on creating an effective competition and consumer authority with the right policies, processes and people to deliver its 5 strategic goals – deliver effective enforcement; extend competition frontiers, refocus consumer protection, achieve professional excellence and develop integrated performance – and make competition work well for consumers, businesses and the UK economy.
The report details competition and consumer work the CMA has carried out over the last year, including the following:
- Reviewed a total of 83 mergers across all sectors of the economy, 6 of which are currently under detailed scrutiny at phase 2
- Opened 3 regulatory appeals in the energy and water sectors
- Concluded a 3-year case against the promoters of a £20 million pyramid-selling scheme that resulted in 9 criminal convictions.
- Launched 2 of the largest market investigations ever undertaken, into the energy and retail banking markets
- Concluded 2 market investigations into payday loans and private motor insurance and also completed a market study into residential property management services
- Launched 5 Competition Act cases, and concluded 4 more; launched 5 consumer projects, and concluded 5 more
- Published report on regulation of higher education, and published guidance for providers and advice for students. The CMA also took action in the secondary ticketing market to give improved information to buyers about the tickets they are buying
- In response to new concurrency legislation, the CMA set up and chairs the UK Competition Network, bringing the regulators together to discuss key issues and share best practice
- To build relationships across the UK, the CMA set up offices in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, and is embedding ‘all nations’ thinking when planning and carrying out work
- Building on a completed cartel case, the CMA developed compliance materials outlining key messages for people working in the UK motor vehicle sector, which reached over 80% of the 200,000 people working in that sector
David Currie, CMA chairman, said:
As a new organisation, the key theme of our first year has been establishing our foundations, upon which we will continue to build in the years to come. The CMA has made good progress against the challenging commitments we set ourselves, and exceeded our target of realising £10 of direct financial benefits to consumers for every £1 spent.
This has been possible thanks to the commitment of the CMA’s staff during a challenging first year. It is still early days for the CMA and while we have started much important work we are ambitious and excited to do more next year. We will continue to improve the CMA’s performance and make steps towards achieving our ambition to be recognised as a world-class competition and consumer agency, making a real difference for consumers and businesses, and helping to drive productivity and growth in the UK economy.
Notes for editors
- 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, as amended by the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013.
- See the CMA’s annual plan for 2014 to 2015.
- The CMA’s 5 strategic goals are to deliver effective enforcement; extend competition frontiers, refocus consumer protection, achieve professional excellence and develop integrated performance.
- The audited accounts include the statement of comprehensive net expenditure which provides a summary of the agency’s costs and income over the past year, and the statement of financial position detailing the CMA’s assets and liabilities as at 31 March 2015.
- For more information on the CMA see our homepage or follow us on Twitter @CMAgovuk, Flickr and LinkedIn.
- Enquiries should be directed to Siobhan Allen (firstname.lastname@example.org, 020 3738 6440).