Office of Fair Trading
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Annual report reveals OFT delivering financial benefits of six times its cost

Annual report reveals OFT delivering financial benefits of six times its cost

OFFICE OF FAIR TRADING News Release (85/08) issued by The Government News Network on 21 July 2008

The OFT has today published its Annual Report 2007-08, alongside its Positive Impact Report which shows that the OFT is saving consumers around £326m per year.

The OFT has a target of delivering financial benefits to consumers of at least five times its cost to the taxpayer. Today's report reveals that the OFT has exceeded this, and is currently delivering benefits of six times its annual budget to consumers.

A breakdown of the results are as follows :

* consumer savings from the OFT merger work are estimated at £115m for the period 2007-08. This figure includes the OFT's share of consumer savings from undertakings in lieu, abandoned mergers and mergers blocked or amended,

* £122m was saved as a result of market investigation references, reviews of orders and undertakings and recommendations from OFT market studies being implemented during 2007/8,

* an average of £77m is being saved each year by the OFT's work on enforcement of competition law, and

* a further £12m is saved per year by OFT actions to stop illegal scams in the UK. These figures do not include an estimate of all financial benefits derived from other aspects of OFT's work, for example the deterrence effect of our competition enforcement work, the impact of increased competition on productivity or the increase in consumer confidence promoted by our actions.

Download a copy of the OFT Positive Impact Report at http://www.oft.gov.uk.

The Annual Report sets out in detail the achievements of the OFT across many different business activities and markets in 2007-08. The OFT worked successfully to protect competition and consumers in areas ranging from airline pricing to racing tipster scams, from overseas credit card transactions to medicine distribution, and from internet shopping to Christmas savings schemes.

Download a copy of the OFT Annual Report at http://www.oft.gov.uk.

Philip Collins, OFT Chairman said:

'This has been a year of significant development at the OFT as we have increasingly targeted our resources in areas where they will deliver the biggest impact on the UK economy. Our unique approach, combining both competition and consumer work, means that we can consider markets as a whole and use a wide range of tools where a market is not working well.

'We will continue to build on our successes, and will prioritise our work and resources to focus on the most important issues in making markets work well for consumers.'

NOTES

1. Financial benefits are defined as the monetary gain to consumers as a result of intervention by the OFT. These are estimated from a combination of case-specific evidence, knowledge and analysis, economic simulation, and rules of thumb derived from academic papers.

2. The OFT Annual Report and Resource Accounts 2007-08 (HC 836) is available from TSO, PO Box 29, Norwich NR3 1GN. Tel: 0870 600 5522. Price: £18.55.

3. It was laid before Parliament at 11am on Monday 21 July 2008.

http://www.oft.gov.uk

PUBLIC enquiries: 0845 7224499 enquiries@oft.gov.uk
OFT reports and consumer information leaflets are available free from:

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