Will the New U.K. Competition and Markets Authority Make Better Antitrust Decisions?

Bruce Lyons, May 14, 2012

I focus in this paper on institutional change and decision making in the new CMA. There are also other important changes to U.K. competition law, including the removal of “dishonesty” as a requirement for the criminal offense in cartels-it will be replaced by appropriate publication of detailed arrangements as a defense. This, and numerous other relatively small modifications, typically move competition policy in the right direction. Another example is that the primary duty of the CMA will be “to promote effective competition in markets, across the UK economy, for the benefits of consumers.” This is a very positive and clear mission statement. But to understand the potential effectiveness of the CMA, we need to understand the organizations that are being merged. The CC and OFT are very different animals.

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