Office of Fair Trading
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OFT response to announcement on competition and consumer regimes

Responding to yesterday's announcement from the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, OFT Chief Executive John Fingleton said:

'We welcome today's announcement on the streamlining of the competition and consumer regimes. We have advocated the merger of the Competition Commission with the OFT for some time. With the right design, a single competition and markets authority can deliver better, faster results for consumers and the economy, and greater consistency for businesses.

'Today's proposals raise important questions about how local and national enforcement of consumer law should best be structured to ensure markets work well for consumers. With a growing proportion of household goods and services purchased from national or global companies, and increasing online sales, the details will need to be carefully thought through in the light of the issues, risks and evidence. We will actively contribute to this debate in the planned consultation.

'The OFT's and Competition Commission's staff have valuable experience and expertise, and we deliver returns to consumers and UK economic growth far in excess of our cost. Our focus will be on ensuring these skills are preserved and strengthened in the merged body or elsewhere, while continuing to contribute to the revitalisation of the private sector and the future prosperity of the UK.'

NOTES:

  1. On 20 May, OFT Chairman Philip Collins delivered a speech titled 'reflections on the possible evolution of the UK's consumer and competition regime', where he described the potential benefits of a merged agency.
    See
    www.oft.gov.uk/news-and-updates/speeches/2010/0610.
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