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CMA Publishes Second Tranche Of Guidance And Announces Appointment Of Procedural Officer


The Competition and Markets Authority has today published a second set of guidance documents providing clarity on how the organisation will go about its work


Published on 12 March 2014



by Competition and Markets Authority

(WireNews)

London, England

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has today published a second set of guidance documents providing clarity on how the organisation will go about its work. These set out procedures the CMA will follow when investigating and enforcing competition law, including the use of new interview powers; and also details on how the CMA will target consumer enforcement action at markets where wide-ranging changes can be secured.

The CMA has also today announced Frances Barr’s appointment as Procedural Officer. Frances is currently the OFT’s General Counsel. She will become responsible for considering disputes on certain procedural issues for the CMA when it opens for business on April 1, 2014 and will also chair oral hearings with parties in Competition Act 1998 investigations.

Today’s documents follow publication in January of guidance relating to the CMA’s other functions, and have been published following careful consideration of responses received during a consultation. This led to a number of changes, including further clarification of how the CMA will work, including new aspects of Competition Act enforcement work such as its powers to require individuals to answer questions.

Today’s final guidance documents include an outline of how the CMA will use its consumer powers to tackle, in particular, market wide consumer problems or issues which affect consumers’ ability to make choices. The Consumer Protection guidance also outlines how the CMA will work with a range of partners, including Trading Standards Services, to protect UK consumers. The CMA’s commitment to such partnership working also underpins the Regulated Industries guidance, which highlights how the CMA will interact with the sectoral regulators in competition cases and how it will use its competition case allocation powers in regulated sectors.

The Procedural Officer role provides a route for parties involved in Competition Act, market or merger investigations being conducted by the CMA to raise certain procedural issues in the investigation, and for these to be resolved in a swift, efficient and cost effective way. The Procedural Officer is independent from CMA case teams.

The guidance documents published today are:

The CMA has also published a summary of responses to the consultation which includes a full list of existing Office of Fair Trading and Competition Commission guidance and related documents that the CMA has adopted for its continued use.

Alex Chisholm, CMA Chief Executive, said:

‘Today’s second tranche of guidance documents provides businesses with further clarity on important aspects of the CMA’s functions, including a number of the new powers which the CMA will have. We also reaffirm our commitment to active use of our consumer powers where they will have maximum impact and serve the best interests of consumers. The extensive guidance we now have in place across all our functions provides a strong foundation to ensure that the new competition landscape hits the ground running.

‘The role of the Procedural Officer is designed to ensure our investigations can operate effectively and efficiently and demonstrates our commitment to openness and accountability. This will benefit both the CMA and businesses. I am delighted that we have someone of Frances’s calibre and experience in such an important post.’

For more information on the CMA, see its home page, follow its Twitter @CMAgovuk or Flickr accounts or visit its LinkedIn page


For more information about this press release visit https://www.gov.uk/government/news/cma-publishes-second-tranche-of-guidance-and-announces-appointment-of-procedural-officer

 


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Posted 2014-03-12 14:25:00