Former Competition Commission duties not assumed by CMA

william kidd made this Freedom of Information request to Competition and Markets Authority

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Dear Competition and Markets Authority,

The Competition Commission was empowered to deal with offences under the Competition Act 1998. The functions of the Commission were transferred to CMA in April 2014.

The 1998 Act refers to anti competitive matters
Section 2 refers to a prohibition as follows -

2 Agreements etc. preventing, restricting or distorting competition.

(1)Subject to section 3, agreements between undertakings, decisions by associations of undertakings or concerted practices which—
(a)may affect trade within the United Kingdom, and
(b)have as their object or effect the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition within the United Kingdom,are prohibited unless they are exempt in accordance with the provisions of this Part.
(2)Subsection (1) applies, in particular, to agreements, decisions or practices which—
(a)directly or indirectly fix purchase or selling prices or any other trading conditions;
(b)limit or control production, markets, technical development or investment;
(c)share markets or sources of supply;
(d)apply dissimilar conditions to equivalent transactions with other trading parties, thereby placing them at a competitive disadvantage;

This Act implements European wide requirements but which also has its roots in free trade for merchants in Magna Carta s41.

Institute of Specialist Surveyors and Engineers (ISSE) have written to CMA a number of times concerning restrictive practices in operation by RICS members such as employees of Esurv, Property Care Association(PCA) and mortgage lenders such as Leeds building Society about a restrictive practices which require mortgage lenders to use only members of a trade body( PCA) for damp and timber reports to satisfy mortgage requirements in property purchases and that members of any other organisations such as ISSE and Chartered Institute of Builders CIOB, even although they have recognised training and awards independently accredited by awarding bodies as opposed to PCA who do not have such qualifications, are disallowed.

The Competition Act 1998 is very clear in its prohibition and when a UK institute makes a complaint on behalf of its members and consumers regarding seemingly obvious transgressions of the law with written evidence to support this, can the CMA provide what criteria and information they use in assessing such complaints.

Please can CMA also advise what information it holds on the implementation of enforcement activities under the Competition Act 1998 in respect of such practice and confirm as to why CMA think that trading standards should investigate a matter that they (TS) believe should be dealt with by CMA.

Please advise on what grounds the former competition commission will act and the requirements for contacting the competition commission function of CMA and information on their precise remit.

Please advise on what grounds and legal basis CMA operates only in 'silence' in response to requests when laws are then either ignored or enforced by CMA and what grounds there are for selective enforcement and what policy documents and decisions underpin these procedures.

Please advise what information CMA have in connection with a complaint made by ISSE 1st April 2014 about such restrictive practices and that ISSE only received an answer upon persisting with the question that CMA did not reply to requests and would not advise whether or not they were going to investigate any matter from any member of the public.

Yours faithfully,

William Kidd

Mary Linacre, Competition and Markets Authority

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Kidd

 

Please find attached acknowledgement to your FOI request.

 

Mary Linacre

 

Mary Linacre | Information Access Team | Office of the General Counsel |
Competition and Markets Authority |

Victoria House | Southampton Row | WC1B 4AD | T: 020 3738 6802 |
[1][email address]

 

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Sarah Naylor, Competition and Markets Authority

3 Attachments

Dear Mr Kidd,

 

Thank you for your emails of 27 July and 15 August 2014.

 

Please find attached the response from the Competition and Markets
Authority.

 

Kind regards,

 

Sarah

 

Sarah Naylor | Assistant Director (Legal) | Competition, Consumer and
Markets Group | Competition and Markets Authority | Victoria House |
Southampton Row | London | WC1B 4AD | 020 3738 6495

[1]http://www.gov.uk/cma | [2]@CMAgovUK

 

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

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2. https://twitter.com/CMAgovUK