The Handbook of Competition Economics 2017

United Kingdom

19 October 2016

Overview: market investigations This year, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) concluded two lengthy investigations into the effectiveness of competition in the country’s energy and retail banking markets. The investigations were driven by the perception that these markets were not working well for consumers. In the energy market, the CMA responded to a widespread belief among consumers and politicians that the six large energy companies’ profits were too high, and some industry participants thought that vertical integration was reducing liquidity and possibly resulting in market foreclosure. In retail banking, concerns were raised over the high level of market concentration and lack of switching, which the CMA considered was contributing to poor service quality and high fees, particularly for customers with arranged and unarranged overdrafts.