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Lord Tyrie says consumers must be put at heart of competition law regime

first_img James Booth “Giving the regulator stronger powers and a duty to put consumers first will help tackle the imbalance of a system that has for too long worked in favour of powerful businesses rather than consumers.“The government must now ensure that these proposals are swiftly implemented so that consumers are given the protection they need against harmful business practices.” whatsapp Share Anabel Hoult, chief executive of Which, said: “We strongly support these proposals to establish a much more effective consumer enforcement system and competition regime. Read more: Watchdog may block Sainsbury’s-Asda mergerHe said this was “taking place against the backdrop of an erosion of trust” in authority which he said the reforms could play a part in rectifying.Tyrie, who was appointed to chair the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) last year, said he was asked by business secretary Greg Clark in August to advise on “legislative and institutional reforms to safeguard the interests of consumers and to maintain and improve public confidence in markets.”One of the key proposals put forward is a new duty for the CMA to make the economic interests of consumers and their protection from detriment “paramount”.The duty would apply to the courts as well which would be required to act to put the consumer first. Lord Tyrie says consumers must be put at heart of competition law regime center_img Monday 25 February 2019 1:50 pm Tags: Asda The chair of the competition regulator Lord Tyrie today said consumers would be put at the heart of a new competition law regime to help fix the “erosion of trust” between the public and the authorities.Speaking in London at the launch of a set of proposed reforms, Tyrie said there is a “growing sense that consumers, particularly vulnerable consumers… are being poorly served by those charged with making the economy competitive.” The proposals will be consulted on over the next few months and would need primary legislation to come into force.Consumer groups welcomed the proposed reforms with James Plunkett, executive director of Citizens Advice, tweeting: whatsapp Read more: Competition regulator set to launch reforms to beef up consumer protectionTyrie also proposed a statutory requirement for the CMA to “conduct its investigations swiftly, while respecting parties’ right of defence”.He also asked for new tools and powers for the CMA including the power to impose interim measures on parties and the power to levy fines if its requests or orders are flouted.Others powers asked for include being able to seek the disqualification of company directors for breaches of consumer law and civil fines for individuals who make serious competition law breaches.The CMA also asked for the power to levy turnover-based fines on companies that refuse to supply it with information or that supply false or misleading information.last_img

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