The Handbook of Competition Enforcement Agencies 2011

United Kingdom

15 June 2011

The UK enforcement agencies The enforcement of UK competition law is primarily entrusted to two bodies: the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and the Competition Commission (CC). The OFT currently enforces both competition law (specifically, the prohibition of anti-competitive agreements and abuse of dominance under the Competition Act 1998 (CA98) and articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) (previously articles 81 and 82 EC Treaty, respectively)) and consumer protection law. It also decides whether to refer mergers to the CC for a more in-depth investigation, and potentially prohibition, and whether to refer entire markets to the CC for detailed review (known as a market investigation reference) under the Enterprise Act 2002 (EA02). The EA02 also introduced a specific criminal offence of cartel involvement, which is enforced by the OFT and Serious Fraud Office (SFO). The OFT’s general competition enforcement and its market reference powers (but not its criminal cartel powers) can also be exercised, in their respective sectors, by the specialist sectoral regulators.