Competition and Markets Authority announces its 'Vision, values and strategy'
The Competition and Markets Authority ("CMA") is the new combined successor body to the Office of Fair Trading and the Competition Commission, created by the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013.
The CMA will acquire its powers and replace its predecessors on 1 April 2014.
On 22 January 2014, the CMA published its finalised 'Vision, values and strategy', following a consultation in October 2013. According to the CMA, 'vision' means what it will do, 'values' means how it will do its work, and 'strategy' means how it will achieve its vision.
The CMA's vision comprises five goals:
- Deliver effective enforcement: deter wrongdoing, ensure that businesses and individuals understand sanctions and the law, and pursue the right cases to make good, timely decisions that stand up on appeal.
- Extend competition frontiers: use the markets regime to improve the way competition works, ensure the application of competition law and policy in regulated sectors, and encourage effective competition where markets and business models are evolving.
- Refocus consumer protection: empower consumers to exercise informed choice, lead policy development and identify and pursue complex, precedent-setting cases, and support and work effectively alongside other UK consumer agencies.
- Achieve professional excellence: conduct legal, economic and financial analysis to the highest international standards, manage all its cases efficiently, transparently and fairly, and lead the development of legal, economic and business thinking on competition.
- Develop integrated performance: combine staff from different professional and organisational backgrounds into effective multi-disciplinary teams, use all of the competition and consumer measures at its disposal most effectively, and complement and support the work of other consumer, regulatory and enforcement authorities.
The CMA's values are: Ambition, Excellence, Commitment, Fairness, Teamwork, Honesty, Integrity, Impartiality and Objectivity.
For each of the CMA's five visionary goals, the CMA has set out its strategic objectives, including:
- Create a new unit to gather and analyse intelligence, prioritise cases, intervene swiftly in mergers and use its new powers effectively.
- Work closely with sector regulators and the Government to improve market competitiveness, and intervene in a timely and decisive way when necessary.
- Co-ordinate activity with consumer bodies and pursue cases with the most precedent value to best serve the interests of the consumer.
- Conduct its activities to the highest standards and ensure high standards of professionalism and transparency.
- Integrate staff from all backgrounds together through the design of the organisation, recruit openly at senior levels, and learn lessons from its various activities to apply them across the board.
According to the Government's performance management framework for the CMA, the CMA is expected to have a beneficial impact for consumers, on business behaviour and on economic growth. For every £1 the CMA spends, it should generate £10 of benefits for the consumer.
Further, the Government expects the CMA to increase the number of competition cases it deals with compared with the current regime, to reduce the time taken to conclude cases and to increase the proportion of successful defences of appeals against its infringement decisions.
In line with this overall mission, the CMA's ambition is consistently to be one of the leading competition and consumer agencies in the world and its vision, values and strategy are designed to take it there, by making markets work well in the interests of consumers, businesses and the economy.
We hope that the new integrated body will rise to the challenge of meeting these lofty standards from 1 April 2014, and in particular that the CMA will deliver the transparency, fairness, and consistent approach to competition enforcement that it has promised.