Competition assessment: guidelines for policymakers

Guidelines to help government policymakers assess the impact their proposals will have on competition.



These guidelines provide policymakers with assistance in identifying how new policies or spending proposals might affect competition in markets. They also explain how competition impacts can be assessed.

The guidelines can be used in the following settings:

  • when conducting impact assessments for regulatory proposals

  • when appraising policies, programmes and projects as set out in the Green Book, throughout the policy cycle.

The guidelines are structured as follows:

  • Part 1 provides an overview and the steps for identifying whether a detailed competition impact assessment is necessary
  • Part 2 provides detailed guidelines on how to carry out the impact assessment

1 December 2022: The CMA updated these guidelines in order to reflect the UK’s exit from the European Union and removing references to EU law which are no longer relevant to competition assessments. For discussion of the implications of EU Exit on the CMA’s functions, please refer to the CMA’s Guidance on the functions of the CMA after the end of the Transition Period. The CMA has also made minor corrections, including to reflect changes to other guidance and UK law since this document was originally published.

28 July 2023: The CMA updated the guidelines, including adding a new question in the competition assessment checklist to test whether policy measures affect suppliers’ ability or incentive to introduce new technologies, products or business models. There is new guidance and examples, to add a greater focus on innovation and consumers’ ability to engage with markets.

26 September 2023: The CMA has published an informational Competition Assessment Guidelines video which provides an overview of the guidelines for policymakers.

Competition Assessment Guidelines video

Updates to this page

Published 15 September 2015
Last updated 28 July 2023 + show all updates
  1. Guidelines updated

  2. First published.

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