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Wednesday, 18 July 2012

First Chair of the Competition and Markets Authority

BIS has announced that Lord Currie will be the first Chair of the new CMA from this summer for a four year term (the press release is at: http://news.bis.gov.uk/Press-Releases/Chair-appointed-to-the-new-Competition-and-Markets-Authority-67d2f.aspx). This is good news, not merely because of his high profile, but also because he was the first chair of Ofcom from its inception. For those with longish memories, Ofcom was formed from the Office of Telecommunications, the Independent Television Commission, the Broadcasting Standards Commission, the Radio Authority and the Radiocommunications Agency. So putting two agencies (the OFT and the Competition Commission) together into one must feel like a simple task! Certainly as an organisational merger, Ofcom has been successful and it will be interesting to see if some of the other people who helped create Ofcom, such as Stephen Locke, will surface in the CMA. One big difference is that the CMA is not a sector regulator and that formal enforcement action will be a much larger part of its activities than Ofcom. Getting this right is, of course, the big challenge.

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