Friday, September 13, 2019
Application of the Domestic and EU Antitrust Prohibitions: an analysis of the UK competition authority's enforcement practice
ABSTRACT: This article makes a significant and original contribution to the literature on the enforcement practices of competition authorities by providing the first comprehensive account of the work of the UK National Competition Authority (The OFT and latterly the CMA) in its primary task of enforcing the EU and domestic antitrust prohibitions. A rigorous empirical study of the full 19 years of enforcement practice provides the only detailed analysis of this central pillar of UK competition law enforcement, based on a new data-set on the prohibition Case Outcomes in that period which provides information on the quantity of cases, competition law provisions applied and types of Case Outcome. The article identifies and explains the apparent focus to date on by-object agreement competition law infringements and reveals data on the fining record of the UK competition authority. The article also provides the first data and narrative on the enforcement of the EU antitrust prohibitions within the UK. Overall, the article reveals a disappointing track record by the UK competition authority in enforcing both the domestic and EU prohibitions, on an absolute and relative basis, in comparison with other leading EU MS NCAs, and provides an empirically-driven account which allows us to reflect on experience to date and inform enforcement practice for the future.