The Government has confirmed that it will legislate in this Parliament to reform key aspects of UK competition and consumer protection law. There are reports that it is looking to bring these changes into force late next year – so businesses affected by it should start considering the implications now. These proposals are also being presented as a key part of the Government’s supply side measures to promote growth. But can tougher regulation bring economic benefits – and if so, how quickly can we expect to see a positive impact?
What will the reforms do?
The Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill is expected to result in the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) gaining significant new powers to (among other things):
- intervene in the tech sector with a view to promoting competition– see this briefing and the Government's subsequent response to consultation; and
- impose fines of up to 10% of turnover for breach of consumer protection law
The legislation is also expected to:
- make a raft of changes designed to streamline and improve the effectiveness of the existing competition law and merger control regimes; and
- tighten up the law on fake reviews and subscription contracts.