Competition Law

24 May 2017

The laws that promote the fair and efficient functioning of markets are known collectively as competition law. For so long as the UK remains in the European Union the main sources of those laws are
  • Arts 102 to 106 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and the Council and Commission regulations that implement those articles;
  • The Competition Act 1998, the Enterprise Act 2002 and the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 and secondary legislation that implements those statutes;
  • Statutes for the regulation of privatized monopolies such as the Communications Act 2003 and the Water Act 2003; and
  • Common law prohibitions of restraints of trade developed by the judges over several centuries.
Arts 102 to 106 are concerned with antitrust and control of monopolies at European level and the prohibition of state aids.  The Competition Act 1998 and the Enterprise Act 2002 establish an antitrust and monopoly control regime for the UK while the statutes for the regulation of the privatized industries introduce market disciplines into individual industries.

Competition policy is enforced in the UK by the Competition and Markets Authority which was established by the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013. Appeals against its decisions lie to the Competition Appeals Tribunal.

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