The legal regime of competition in United Kingdom

Author:Ovidiu Horia Maican
Position:Bucharest University of Economic Sudies, Law Department
The legal regime of competition in United Kingdom
Lecturer Ovidiu-Horia MAICAN
The United Kingdom ha s recently introduced a unitary comp etition regime.
Begining with 1979, the United Kingd om was a primary exp onent of the neoliberal
philosophy, putting in first place market, privatisation, liberalisation and deregulation. For
that reason, a competition p olicy did not exist too much in practice for almost two decades.
An important aspect was the influence of European Un ion competition law. Even in a such
situation, the supranational policy could not take the place in of a domestic competition
policy. The British Parliament ado pted some rules in 1998 in the field of anti-competitive
agreements and the control of abuse of dominance and in 2002 in the field of merger
control. In March 2012, there were announced the proposals for the reformatio n the United
Kingdom competition law regime. According to the proposals, the functions of the
Competition Commission and the competition functions of the Office of Fair Trading
(OFT), will be the competences of a new, single competition authority, the Competition and
Markets Authority (CMA). The new body will have jurisdiction to analyse merger control
reviews and market investigations, and in the same time will act as the main institution
enforcing the competition laws.
Keywords: United Kingdom, competition, reform, authorities.
JEL Classification: K21, K33
1. Introduction
The main components of the UK competition regime are market studies
and market investigations (examining markets which do not work well for
consumers, with powers to impose remedies where an adverse effect on
competition is found), merger control (maintaining competitive pressures in
markets by prohibiting anti-competitive mergers between businesses or otherwise
remedying their potential adverse effects on competition), anti-trust (enforcing
legal prohibitions against anti-competitive business agreements, including cartels
and the abuse of a dominant market position) and competition advocacy
(promoting the benefits of competition and challenging barriers to competition,
such as those which might result from existing or planned Government
Ovidiu-Horia Maican - Bucharest University of Econo mic Sudies, Law Department,
Parker, J., Ares, E., Barclay, C., Conway, L., Edmonds, T, Kelly L, S eely House of Commons
Library Research Paper 12/33, 2012, p. 17.

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