By Mark Friend –
In its final report on the Energy Market Investigation, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) announced its intention to impose a temporary cap on the prices charged to energy customers on pre-payment meters. A central plank of the CMA’s argument is its claim that the Big 6 energy firms have been over-charging customers, resulting in detriment of £1.4 billion (£388 million of which relates to pre-payment customers). However, as this article explains, this detriment figure of £1.4 billion appeared for the first time in the final report, without any prior consultation, and significant elements of the CMA’s detriment calculations are redacted, making it impossible to verify whether the CMA’s analysis is robust. Given previous analytical errors by the CMA at earlier stages in the investigation, there are reasons to be cautious before accepting the CMA’s findings at face value.