Competition watchdog set to double cartel investigations

Tim Wallace
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THE NEW competition authorities should be able to double the number of anti-trust investigations carried out thanks to better resources, a leading law firm has forecast.

The Competition and Markets Authority will begin work next year, replacing the Office of Fair Trading and the Competition Commission.

And according to analysis from Pinsent Masons, a 31 per cent hike in resources should double the amount of investigations it can carry out.

The agency will get a £16m budget increase in 2015-16, upping its funding from the annual £52m now.

“In recent years the OFT has been criticised over its track record of competition enforcement. But that has been in the context of a spending review which reduced the OFT’s operating budget by 25 per cent over the four years to 2014-15,” said lawyer Guy Lougher.

“With an additional £16m, the CMA will have better capacity to track down and pursue businesses that have broken the law, as well as creating a competition regime that protects both consumers and businesses.”