On 11 August 2014, the CMA and Ofgem entered into an MoU on competition law concurrency – Ofgem as the energy sector regulator has concurrent competition law powers alongside the main competition authority, the CMA. The MoU sets out how the regulators will work more closely together to achieve more competitive outcomes in the gas and electricity sectors in Great Britain for the benefit of consumers and businesses that use gas and electricity services. This MoU follows the introduction of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 (ERRA) which introduced a number of changes to improve the working of the competition concurrency provisions and to enable a closer working relationship between the CMA and sectoral regulators.
The MoU highlights the more prominent role competition law is likely to play in energy markets and regulation going forwards, where:
- the protection of consumer interests by means of promotion of competition has been placed higher on the hierarchy of Ofgem's duties and obligations; and
- the CMA and Ofgem explicitly recognise the Government's "strategic steer" towards closer cooperation between them.