The OFT has opened a consultation into its decision not to refer the beer market to the Competition Commission for an in-depth market investigation, following a super-complaint by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). The OFT has also announced that CAMRA’s appeal of this decision at the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) will be adjourned during the consultation. The parties agreed this would be a better use of resources and could avoid substantial litigation fees. Interested third parties can provide comments by 24 March 2010. In the meantime, proceedings in the CAT have been adjourned until 1 August 2010.

CAMRA’s appeal to the CAT

CAMRA had appealed the OFT’s decision to the CAT on 22 December 2009, claiming that the OFT failed to properly examine its claims that there is insufficient competition in the beer market and that beer supply ties and other exclusive purchasing obligations are resulting in high beer prices and poor facilities.