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UK Government confirms reforms to competition and consumer laws

Following a consultation in summer 2021, which set out a suite of wide-ranging proposals for reforms to UK competition and consumer laws, the UK Government has now confirmed the changes that it plans to take forward. 

Our alert discusses the key amendments to the merger control, markets and competition rules (we will be publishing shortly a separate alert on the changes to the consumer rules). These include:

  • significant amendments to the merger control jurisdictional thresholds, including a new threshold designed to enable the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to review “killer acquisitions” more easily
  • more flexible market inquiries, particularly in relation to the CMA’s ability to accept binding commitments and to review and amend existing remedies
  • changes to facilitate stronger and faster enforcement against anti-competitive conduct, including greater evidence-gathering powers for the CMA
  • tougher sanctions for non-compliance, eg for failing to comply with investigations and remedies.