On 14 October it was announced that the coalition government plans to merge the Competition Commission and the OFT in a move to streamline the UK competition and consumer regimes. The intention is to create a single competition authority which would be responsible for merger regulation, market investigations, cartel and antitrust matters as well as functions in relation to the regulated utilities. The current consumer enforcement functions of the OFT would be transferred to Trading Standards and the Citizens Advice Service, leaving the competition functions to be merged with those of the Competition Commission. The CAT is to be kept as an independent body, and economic regulators are to be retained subject to ongoing review.
In a related issue, on 20 October, details of the Spending Review 2010 were announced, which reveal that the funding for the OFT will be cut by £10 million in 2014/2015 as part of the public spending plans.
107/10 - 14 October 2010