Legal Business

Less bark, more bite – competition to the fore as tougher enforcement arrives

New legislation and a tougher outlook from regulators has competition partners salivating, but the old guard maintain their dominance in the City. Can the rise of US players extend to antitrust practices?

Having long been viewed as stable, the UK’s competition law agenda has been shaken up significantly over the last 12 months, with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)’s public attack on the proposed merger of mobile networks O2 and Three last month the clearest example yet. In an unprecedented move CMA chief executive Alex Chisholm published a letter to the European Commission, which is assessing the deal, stating that the £10.25bn purchase of O2 by Three owner Hutchison would cause ‘long-term damage to the UK telecoms market’.