Competition Commission Publishes Annual Report
The Competition Commission (CC) has published its Annual Report and Accounts for 2011/12.
The report details investigations completed by the CC during the 2011/12 reporting year, including merger inquiries, market investigations and regulatory appeals. This workload is considerably greater than the previous year, and shows no sign of declining in 2012/13—the CC is currently involved with work involving 14 investigations.
Despite this increase in workload, the CC has managed to stay within its 2011/12 budget of £18.1 million, which was 4 per cent less than the budget for the previous year.
The report also highlights the future merger between the CC and the Office of Fair Trading. This will create a single Competition and Markets Authority (the CMA), which is expected to start its work in 2014.
CC Chairman, Roger Witcomb, introduces the report, commenting on the forthcoming merger: “I am pleased that the Government has confirmed that the CMA will be designed to preserve the strengths of the CC as an independent “fresh pair of eyes” in a two-phase competition enforcement regime, with robust, thorough and transparent processes. But difficult judgements remain for the new authority. It will need to strike the right balance between speed and thoroughness, and to maintain the separation, within a single authority, between the two phases.”
The Chairman also stresses the need for the CC to keep focused on its current workload.
“It is essential that it [CC] does not allow itself to be distracted by the prospective organisational changes from performing its role, and that it is given the resources to do so,” Witcomb said.