New antitrust body set out by Lord Currie
Lord Currie has set out plans for a new Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to bring about a “vibrant” and “dynamic” culture in a new antitrust body in the UK.
At the Law Society’s Competition Sector Annual Dinner on Wednesday night, Lord Currie said an organisation will be created within the next two years that will amalgamate the Office of Fair Trading and the Competition Commission.
Announcements were made in July this year about the creation of the CMA, after the Government decided to shake up the competitions system by merging the two bodies.
Lord Currie, the former head of Ofcom, commented: “There is a great deal to be managed over the next year or so before the new Authority assumes its powers in April 2014, all in the context of delivering the ongoing case load consistently and effectively, without interruption.”
He set out proposals to deploy resources more effectively between different departments in the newly created authority, and said the body must be empowered to make antitrust systems more fair and efficient.
The creation of the CMA is part of the Government initiative to cut back on bureaucracy and quango costs, and Lord Currie made it clear the authority will work closely with other bodies like Trading Standards to bring about improved competition and to better inform consumers.
Lord Currie continued: “We need to make sure that the Competition and Markets Authority is established as a vibrant organisation with a fresh, dynamic culture that embodies both new elements and the best of the two legacy bodies and retains and integrates the talent of their staff. And we have the time to get this right.”
He will step down from his roles in BDO, the Royal Mail, IG Group and Dubai Financial Services Authority to head up the CMA for a yearly salary of £185,000.
The Organisation will work alongside other sector regulators and provide leadership to make use of the expertise within these different bodies.Lord
Currie concluded: “The combined organisation will be able to deploy resources more effectively and flexibly to the different parts of its work.
“It will deliver decisions in a more timely way with no diminution of quality, to the benefit of consumers and businesses.
“It will provide a single, and therefore stronger, voice and advocacy, both at home and internationally, on competition and consumer issues.”
CMA is expected to begin its work in April 2014, after The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill has made its way through Parliament to form a legal framework to establish the new authority.