The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has outlined the key areas on which it expects to focus in the coming year, including its ongoing commitment to protect UK consumers during the unprecedented circumstances of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The draft Annual Plan also looks ahead to the end of the EU Exit Transition Period and the new responsibilities this will bring for the CMA, including an increase in merger cases and competition law enforcement, as well as the creation of new functions such as the Digital Markets Unit and the Office for the Internal Market.
The CMA proposes to focus on the following themes in 2021/22:
- protecting consumers and driving recovery during and after the coronavirus pandemic, with a particular focus on protecting the vulnerable from breaches of competition and consumer protection laws and poorly functioning markets, and supporting the UK economy by fostering competition to promote innovation, productivity and growth
- taking its place as a global competition and consumer protection authority as it assumes new responsibilities after the EU Exit Transition Period
- fostering effective competition in digital markets
- supporting the transition to a low carbon economy.
In carrying out this work, the CMA will continue to get closer to the needs of consumers, as it set out at the beginning of 2020. This includes continuing to develop its understanding of the changing needs of consumers; to explain why competition matters and the CMA’s work and priorities; and to advocate more visibly and vocally for the interests of consumers.
The CMA’s consultation is intended to give partners, interested parties and members of the public the opportunity to provide views and comments on the CMA’s proposed Annual Plan for 2021/22, and it looks forward to receiving feedback and suggestions.