The Competition and Markets Authority (‘CMA’) issued its July 2020 Bulletin which provided a summary of latest developments, including:
- CMA published its Annual Report and Accounts 2019 to 2020 which covers the wide range of work we carried out over the past year to make a positive difference for consumers, businesses and the UK economy. The Annual Report covers the period up to 31 March 2020.
- Update on the work of the CMA Covid-19 Taskforce with details of the latest investigations into consumer protection areas following a range of complaints regarding unfair practices.
- Improving trust in markets as the CMA has stopped companies cheating through fixing prices, including imposing a £36 million fine for a cartel in the construction industry. They also secured the disqualification of company directors involved in the case. Following an investigation by the CMA, two of the UK’s largest suppliers of rolled lead have admitted to taking part in anti-competitive arrangements and could face fines of more than £11 million.
- Promoting better competition in online markets. The CMA are at the forefront of competition agencies around the world in exploring how technology is changing the business models and investment strategies of firms in the digital economy. Making sure that they understand and address the challenges that the growth of the digital economy poses – for consumers, businesses and competition authorities – is vital.
- Supporting economic growth and productivity. A strong economy is underpinned by markets that work effectively, where competition is driving innovation, efficiency and growth. In well-functioning competitive markets, businesses innovate and compete vigorously and fairly to attract customers’ business. Customers can make informed choices between suppliers on price, quality, innovation and service. This drives further competition and innovation in a virtuous circle. The CMA’s competition and consumer protection, interventions contribute to this working effectively.
- The UK’s exit from the EU. At the end of the transition period, 1 January 2021, the CMA will take on responsibility for larger and more complex merger, cartel and competition enforcement cases that were previously reserved for the European Commission.
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