On 6 May 2016, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published its response to the Department for Business Innovation & Skills’ (BIS) consultation on Terms and Conditions and Consumer Protection Fining Powers.

In particular, the CMA responds to the following:

  • Benefits of civil monetary penalties in tackling non-compliance by business:  The CMA believes that the introduction of civil fining powers for breaches of consumer protection law would improve compliance with consumer law and give enforcers more effective and proportionate enforcement tools.
  • Potential design of civil monetary penalty powers:  The CMA notes that there are a number of potential ways in which civil fining powers could be introduced. The CMA would prefer a court-based approach where the civil courts have the power to impose fines alongside other potential remedies.
  • Potential legislative scope of civil fining powers: The CMA believes that there is a strong argument for having a consistent approach and extending civil fining powers to breaches of all consumer protection law, rather than limiting their scope to specific legislation.