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OFT’s competition enforcement priorities in changing economic times. Sonya Branch Senior Director, Goods 4 February 2009. Changing times. More than a decade of growth Macroeconomic stability Globalisation High employment Consensus on competition. Recession Short-term fixes

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oft s competition enforcement priorities in changing economic times

OFT’s competition enforcement priorities in changing economic times

Sonya Branch

Senior Director, Goods 4 February 2009

changing times
Changing times

More than a

decade of growth

Macroeconomic stability

Globalisation

High employment

Consensus on competition

Recession

Short-term fixes

Public interest mandate

Demand for selective enforcement

Need to engage

closely with government

three key aspect of oft s landscape
Three key aspect of OFT’s landscape
  • Our current legislative framework sufficient – framed for bad times, as well as good
  • Good foundations already laid
  • Global economic crisis needs a global response – same applies in antitrust arena
guiding aims in oft s response
Guiding aims in OFT’s response

Pragmatic/ flexible application of UK competition regime without

weakening enforcement stance

Better engagement and transparency with business / advisers so increased legal certainty

Increased government

engagement and advocacy

flexible but firm

Pragmatic/ flexible application of UK

Pragmatic/ flexible application of UK

competition regime without

competition regime without

weakening enforcement stance

weakening enforcement stance

Better engagement and transparency, increased

Better engagement and transparency with

business / advisers so, increased legal certainty

legal certainty

Increased government

Increased government

engagement and advocacy

engagement and advocacy

Flexible but firm
  • No radical shift in some of key enforcement priorities, but account taken of evolving market conditions
    • Strong cartel enforcement and merger review
    • Exclusionary conduct by dominant firms
    • Market studies
    • Sectoral focus on financial services
better engagement and transparency

Pragmatic/ flexible application of UK

Pragmatic/ flexible application of UK

competition regime without

competition regime without

weakening enforcement stance

weakening enforcement stance

Better engagement and transparency, increased

Better engagement and transparency with

business / advisers so, increased legal certainty

legal certainty

Increased government

Increased government

engagement and advocacy

engagement and advocacy

Better engagement and transparency
  • Certainty around applicable

legal framework

  • Essential to achieve with corporate parties/ their advisers:
    • Effective dialogue
    • Better engagement with OFT
  • Transparency
  • Speed of response
advocacy

Pragmatic/ flexible application of UK

Pragmatic/ flexible application of UK

competition regime without

competition regime without

weakening enforcement stance

weakening enforcement stance

Better engagement and transparency, increased

Better engagement and transparency with

business / advisers so, increased legal certainty

legal certainty

Increased government

Increased government

engagement and advocacy

engagement and advocacy

Advocacy
  • Act with government to ensure pro-competitive government-sponsored agreements
  • Restate case for trust in competition and competition enforcement
conclusion
Conclusion

+

short-term sacrifice of competitive framework

=

+

effective commitment to competition enforcement

=