Unfinished Reform of the Institutions Enforcing UK Competition Law

Lyons, Bruce (2021) Unfinished Reform of the Institutions Enforcing UK Competition Law. In: The UK Competition Regime: A Twenty-Year Retrospective. OXFORD UNIV PRESS, GREAT CLARENDON ST, OXFORD OX2 6DP, ENGLAND, Oxford. (In Press)

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Abstract

The period since 1998 has seen major changes in competition law, including: public interest was replaced by promotion of competition as the primary duty; anticompetitive agreements and abuse of a dominant position were prohibited, with significant penalties for breach; and the Minister withdrew from case decisions, making the institutions determinative. There were also major organisational changes, including merger of the OFT and CC to form the CMA, and establishment of the CAT as an appeals body. I consider the evolution of these institutions from the perspective of how they frame and influence the quality of first instance determinations. Institutions are hostages to their history, and I trace some of the problems faced by the CMA to its institutional roots. New challenges beyond its control are also identified. Reform is needed. Some of the CMA’s suggestions for legislation are misguided, particularly in replacing its competition duty with ‘the consumer interest’, and reducing the standard of review by the CAT without reform of the CMA. Alternative proposals are considered, including a potential change to a prosecutorial system. I argue that genuinely independent decision-making within the CMA should be preferred and would permit a more limited standard of review.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: competition law,institutional reform,antitrust institutions,competition and markets authority (cma)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Economics
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2020 00:19
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2020 00:15
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/76587
DOI:

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