Press release

CMA publishes latest research into past merger remedies

The CMA has published updated case study research into merger remedies carried out by its predecessors.

Woman signing papers

Understanding past merger remedies builds on previously published research and now includes the evaluation of 13 merger remedies, which mostly followed in-depth Competition Commission (CC) inquiries, but also features an undertaking in lieu put in place by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) at the end of a phase 1 review instead of a referral to the CC.

The evaluation, which includes interviews with the companies involved as well as competitors and customers, looks at the effectiveness of the different types of remedies used and the lessons learned for future merger cases.

This research is part of a wider programme of remedy evaluation, policy development and review by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) aimed at maximising the impact of its remedies, while avoiding imposing unnecessary burdens on business.

Earlier this month, the CMA said it was 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, as well as launching the first 2 reviews in this programme. In March, the CMA announced a review of 76 structural merger undertakings given by companies prior to 1 January 2005 to see if they are still necessary. It has also been consulting on updated guidance on the use of ‘sunset clauses’ in market investigations. The CMA set out in its annual plan for 2015 to 2016 how it aims to reduce burdens on business by assessing whether any existing merger and market remedies are no longer necessary.

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

Looking at the evidence from past cases is an important part of delivering effective and proportionate remedies. In addition to removing past remedies which are no longer necessary, the lessons learned from previous cases can help us when choosing the right measures in future to enhance competition and prevent harm to consumers.

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 CC and the competition and certain consumer functions of the OFT, under the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013.
  2. 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).
  3. For more information on the CMA see our homepage or follow us on Twitter @CMAgovuk, Flickr and LinkedIn. Sign up to our email alerts to receive updates on merger cases.
Published 24 July 2015