Following an earlier announcement that it intended to promote private-sector led challenges to anti-competitive behaviour, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has published a consultation on ways to facilitate private actions in competition law. The proposed reforms are aimed at creating a legal framework that will empower individual consumers and businesses to represent their own interests.
Included in the proposals are measures to establish the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) as a major venue for competition actions in the UK in order to make it easier for businesses to challenge anti-competitive behaviour that is damaging their performance. This will include allowing cases to be brought even when they have not first been investigated by the Office of Fair Trading, allowing the CAT to grant injunctions and introducing a fast-track procedure for small and medium-sized enterprises that will allow simpler cases to be dealt with much more quickly and cheaply.
Consultation closes on 24 July 2012.