The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published the second annual concurrency report.
Following on from the first annual report on 1 April 2015, the CMA considers the concurrency arrangements between the CMA and sector regulators have been working well, and have extended beyond the general ‘building blocks’ of a new competition enforcement regime to include cooperation on broader policy and markets work.
The report identifies the concrete actions taken by each of the sector regulators under their concurrent powers under the Competition Act 1998 and Enterprise Act 2002. It also contains descriptions of what is being done more generally to achieve competitive outcomes in each sector. The report also identifies relevant future work by the regulators. While the CMA considers significant progress has been made, it considers that more can be done. In particular in relation to collective recording of decision-making in competition cases and increasing the number of cases opened each year.
In relation to the FCA, the report notes that since April 2015, the FCA has now assembled a competition team of 90 staff and is committed to working with the CMA and other regulators and authorities. The FCA has opened its first case under the Competition Act 1998. It has also issued two ‘on notice’ letters and three advisory letters. The FCA has not opened any market investigations under the Enterprise Act 2002 since 1 April 2015. However, the FCA has carried out, or is currently carrying out, several market studies using its powers to promote competition under FSMA. These include (among other things):
- The cash savings market study, the final results of which were published in January 2015.
- The credit card market study. The interim results of this study were published in November 2015 and the final report is expected to be published in Spring 2016.
Other steps the FCA has taken to promote competition include its call for input in relation to competition in the mortgage sector, its work on innovation, including expanding ‘Project Innovate’ and its policy statement on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory access to regulated benchmarks.