Services of general economic interest exclusion: OFT421

Explains how the CMA interprets and applies the exclusion for 'services of general economic interest' and 'revenue producing monopolies'.



This guidance was originally published by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and has been adopted by the CMA Board. The original text has been retained unamended, therefore it does not reflect or take account of developments in case law, legislation or practice since its original publication.

Please also note:

  • all references to issues of legal assessment and procedure in investigations under the Competition Act 1998 (CA98) must be read in the light of Competition Act 1998: Guidance on the CMA’s investigation procedures in Competition Act 1998 cases (CMA8); in the case of conflict, CMA8 prevails
  • references to ‘OFT Rules’, ‘Rules of Procedure’ or equivalent should be read as referring to The Competition Act 1998 (Competition and Markets Authority’s Rules) Order 2014 SI 2014/458 (the CA98 Rules) but note that in the case of any conflict between the Article numbers or content of the CA98 Rules and the previous OFT Rules, the CA98 Rules prevail
  • references to the OFT or the Competition Commission (CC) (except where referring to specific past OFT or CC practice or case law) should be read as referring to the CMA
  • references to the substantive powers of investigation or assessment of the approach to applying legal powers (for example, the approach to publishing notices of investigation, interim measures or penalties for non-cooperation with an investigation under the CA98), should be read in light of CMA8
  • references to articles of the EC Treaty should be read as referring to the equivalent articles of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union
  • certain OFT or CC departments, teams or individual roles may not be replicated in the CMA, or may have been renamed; the CMA’s structure is set out in our organisation chart
  • do not use any contact details quoted; please go to the home page for details on how to contact the CMA