The Competition Commission is required by the Competition Act 2007 to publish guidance documents, by December 4th 2009, setting out:
- Guidelines on the economic and legal analysis which shall be used for the determination of cases under the Act.
- Guidelines on the principles which shall be used for the determination of penalties or remedies imposed under the Act, and on the manner in which turnover is to be calculated for the purposes of section 59.
- Its rules of procedure.
Like equivalent legislation elsewhere, the Competition Act itself does not provide specifics on restrictive practices. In most cases, the Commission’s decision on whether to take action will depend on its assessment of the effects of the behaviour it is investigating. Guidelines set out how that assessment is made, and Procedural Rules define the mechanics. This provides businesses and consumers with greater certainty.
In November 2009, the Competition Commission published its final versions of these documents, following a public consultation on draft versions. These documents were drafted in-house by staff at the Competition Commission, with support from external economics and legal experts. In addition, a small consultative committee with representatives from business, law, consumer associations and academia, provided feedback on some of the drafts.
Final versions were considered and approved by the Competition Commission.