What Every In-House Lawyer Needs to Know About a UK Competition Commission Inquiry Before it Starts - 10 Suggestions to Help you Manage the Process.
Lee Callaghan, Group Competition Counsel, Aviva plc. UK
Two years! That is how long, until very recently, the Competition Commission (“CC”) would normally take to deliver one of its market investigation reports. The CC remedies that result would then normally add at least another 12 months before they are implemented in full (often considerably longer). The proposed remedies would follow at least an initial period of some 6 months after final report publication before parties might see firm proposals on which they will have been asked to comment. If you add to that the likely OFT market study timetable that might have preceeded a CC inquiry (probably at least 6 months to a year) and the follow on OFT full market inquiry period (1 year) if the OFT has found issues worthy of inquiry, then it all means that a relevant market could be facing the glare and focus of investigation under the UK’s regulatory competition regime for at least some 4 years and sometimes its often longer ( just look at groceries, petrol and house builders to name a few). Specifically, the PPI series of inquiries which reported in February 2009 and is currently consulting on proposed remedies (more on this below) first commenced in September 2005 at the OFT. As they say in the States; you do the math!
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