Would a Prosecutorial Approach Strengthen the UK’s Antitrust Regime?

April 6, 2011

(by Andreas Stephan) The UK prosecutes far fewer antitrust cases (i.e. illegal agreements and abuse of dominance) than any other significant jurisdiction.  These few cases also take a very long time to complete.  As part of its consultation on changes to the competition regime, the UK government suggests that changes are necessary in order to improve the efficiency of enforcement.  In particular, it asks whether we should streamline the current inquisitorial procedure or replace it with a more prosecutorial approach. Read the rest of this entry »


Redesigning the UK Competition Regime

April 6, 2011

(by Bruce Lyons & Andreas Stephan)  The UK government is consulting on potential reform of a wide range of issues in its competition regime.  The issues are those confronted by each of the increasing number of competition regimes across the globe and should be of more than local interest.  These include possibly major changes to: the institutions implementing policy (e.g. merger of the Office of Fair Trading and Competition Commission, concurrency with sector regulators, appeals); the way evidence is gathered and presented (e.g. inquisitorial versus prosecutorial approach); the type of decision maker (e.g. executive or independent tribunal); design of the criminal cartel offence; notification of behaviour (e.g. proposed mergers); scope of intervention (e.g. markets which do not contravene antitrust rules; funding (e.g. merger fees); etc.  We will be using the blog in the coming weeks to explore some of the issues that are raised, to suggest the appropriate way to frame the debate and to highlight some of the pitfalls.