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Competition & EU law insights

Keeping you up to date on Competition & EU law developments in Europe and beyond.

| 2 minutes read

Takeaways from seminar: Key Trends in UK Competition Law Enforcement

Bird & Bird's London Competition team hosted a fantastic in-person seminar on Key Trends in UK Competition Law Enforcement on 14th May. The guest speakers included Bethan Watts (Competition and Markets Authority, CMA) Marc Braithwaite (Financial Conduct Authority, FCA), Richard Neville (Warner Bros. Discovery), and Eliza Petritsi (Deutsche Bank).


Our first session on sustainable collaborations covered the following topics: 

  • FCA’s competition remit in context: The FCA has a competition objective, a competition duty, CA98 enforcement powers and, since 2023, a secondary international competitiveness and growth objective.  These sit alongside other core FCA enforcement and regulatory powers. In relation to non-CA98 enforcement, the FCA recently consulted on changes to its enforcement regime, focusing on a streamlined portfolio of cases better aligned to its strategic priorities.  
  • CMA's Green Agreement Guidance: The CMA's Green Agreement Guidance has established an "open-door policy" for climate change agreements. The CMA is leading the way internationally on sustainable collaboration. Businesses can seek informal guidance from the CMA under the open-door policy. 
  • CMA's Green Claims Code: The CMA's Green Claims Code provides clear guidance and worked examples showing how to comply with consumer law when making environmental claims.
  • CMA's Powers to Secure Information from Overseas Businesses and Conduct Inspections (recent case law): The CMA can secure information from overseas businesses when investigating suspected breaches of competition law. The CMA also has the power to conduct inspections at domestic premises, even without establishing a propensity to destroy documents.
  • Digital Markets Competition Consumer Act and New Powers: The DMCC Act gives the CMA's consumer arm wide-ranging new powers, including enhanced information gathering powers and new penalties for non-compliance. The CMA can now impose higher penalties for obstruction or non-compliance with its investigations. The Bill makes several changes to the Competition Act 1998, particularly around the CMA's powers to tackle conduct that obstructs its investigations.


The second session focused on the new digital world and with some of the key takeaways including:

  • New SMS regime under DMCC Act: The regime will focus on preventing harm and promoting competition in digital markets. Conduct requirements, pro-competitive interventions, and new merger reporting requirements will be key components of the regime. The DMU will begin designating firms around 6 months after Royal Assent, with public consultation on guidance outlining how the regime will run during the period between the finalisation of the bill and full commencement of the new Digital Markets regime. The CMA will consult with a range of stakeholders including industry, academia, and consumer groups before publishing its final guidance as soon as possible after commencement of the regime.
  • Consumer powers: The CMA will gain direct enforcement powers for consumer law, including the ability to impose financial penalties. The courts will also be able to impose financial penalties for breaches of consumer law. The law around subscription traps and fake reviews will be clarified.
  • CMA's approach to AI: The CMA's Foundation Models report highlights the CMA’s concerns in this sector. The CMA has confirmed its final AI principles and is considering how to apply its legal powers effectively. The CMA, FCA, Ofcom, and ICO work closely together through the DRCF to promote regulatory coherence on AI.
  • FCA's approach to technology, Big Tech and AI: The FCA has been using TechSprints to bring together participants from across and outside of financial services to address industry challenges. It has also been considering the potential implications of AI in financial services, and examining how Big Tech firms' unique access to large sets of data could unlock better products, more competitive prices, and wider choice as well as the potential for any competition harms.

If you need more information or further guidance in this area, please contact Dr. Saskia King, Peter Willis or Ariane Le Strat.



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