On 27 March 2014, the OFT, Ofgem and Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published their joint assessment of the state of competition in the UK energy markets. This assessment identifies concerns about barriers to entry, vertical integration and low levels of consumer engagement. It also includes evidence of declining levels of consumer trust, possible indications of tacit co-ordination, increasing price levels and increasing profit margins of suppliers. On 26 June 2014 Ofgem decided to make a reference to the CMA for a market investigation into the supply and acquisition of energy in Great Britain.On 24 July 2014, the CMA published a statement of issues regarding its market investigation.
This is a particularly high-profile market investigation, into markets that are vital to the UK economy. It follows extensive political and media debate about energy pricing, the role of the major energy suppliers, their regulation and the effectiveness of Ofgem, with some market players welcoming this review as a means of obtaining closure and greater commercial certainty.