The CMA has published a consultation document that sets out its proposed changes to the way in which it conducts market investigations. This is the first step in a broader long-term process of consolidation and review of the CMA’s markets guidance, which it committed to in its Annual Plan for 2016/2017. 

The main changes that are proposed in the consultation document relate to:

  • the streamlining of the market investigation process by (i) interacting with stakeholders earlier and in a more flexible manner, (ii) reducing the number of set-piece consultations, and (iii) considering potential remedies at an early stage; and
  • strengthening synergies between market studies and market investigations (while maintaining independence of decision-making) by (i) introducing the option for the Board to provide an advisory steer on the scope of a market investigation (in cases where the CMA has conducted the market study) and (ii) permitting preparatory work for the market investigation to be carried out during the latter stages of market studies.

The deadline for comments on the CMA’s proposals is 2 May 2017. A roundtable event to provide stakeholders with an opportunity to discuss the proposals is expected to take place on 29 March 2017 at the CMA’s offices.