The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has today published responses to 2 Government consultations: Reforming competition and consumer policy and A new pro-competition regime for digital markets.
The CMA’s responses welcome reforms proposed by the government that include granting the CMA the power to determine whether consumer protection law has been broken and to take appropriate action, including fines.
The proposals will also allow the CMA to secure an end to a firm’s unlawful trading practices and, where appropriate, to order refunds for consumers who have been caught out by scams. At present, the CMA can only achieve this by first bringing court proceedings or if suitable undertakings are voluntarily provided by the firm.
The Government proposals also apply to the CMA’s dedicated Digital Markets Unit (DMU). The CMA sees the government’s proposal to provide the DMU with the necessary powers to tackle problems in digital markets as a ‘major, positive step towards better protecting consumers and supporting businesses.’
The proposals outlined by the government are set to enable the DMU to implement codes of conduct for digital firms which, if broken, can result in meaningful remedies and large penalties.
The proposals would also give the DMU powers to intervene in the market to boost competition in the long run, as well as new powers to scrutinise and block mergers involving the most powerful digital firms.
Read more on the CMA’s responses here.