Competition Agency Design: What’s on the Menu?

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Series Details Volume 8, Number 3, Pages 527-538
Publication Date September 2012
ISSN 1744-1056
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"In November 2010, the UK’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) began an inquiry to explore a fundamental redesign of the country’s system of competition law. Among other measures, the initiative contemplated the dissolution of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and Competition Commission (CC) and the creation of new mechanisms to implement the law. At some time in the next few years, the UK is scheduled to establish a new Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to perform functions previously assigned to the predecessor bodies."
"In this paper we step back from the details of these individual case studies and lay out the implicit “menu” that countries are choosing from in designing and/or reforming their competition agencies. Section B explains the logic of focusing on “engineering not physics”, then identifies nine major institutional design choices that influence the quality and effectiveness of competition agencies. We discuss the trade-offs associated with each choice and review the inter-relationships among individual choices. Section C briefly considers the implications of these dynamics for the future of agency design and competition policy."
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