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From Antitrust Law Daily, July 15, 2013

Former FTC chairman, DG Comp director-general named to U.K. Competition and Markets Authority board

By Jeffrey May, J.D.

The United Kingdom’s Department for Business, Innovation & Skills announced today a number of “major steps towards creating the UK’s new strengthened and streamlined competition regime.”

The new authority, which will be the UK’s sole competition agency, will launch in shadow form on October 1, 2013, and will become fully functional on April 1, 2014. It will bring together the Competition Commission (CC) with the competition and certain consumer functions of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

The new measures announced today include “the appointment of a high calibre team of Non-Executive Directors (NEDs) to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) Board and a consultation on the CMA strategic priorities.”

Among the five NEDs being appointed are former FTC Chairman William Kovacic and Philip Lowe, the former Director-General for Competition at the European Commission (EC). The other three NEDs are: Professor Annetje Ottow, business executive Carolyn Fairbairn, and Alan Giles, the lead Non-Executive Director for the OFT.

In addition, Lord David Currie will serve as CMA Chairman, and Alex Chisholm will serve as CMA Chief Executive. There also will be two Panel member NEDs—CC Chairman Roger Witcomb and CC Reporting Panel member Jill May—and three Executive Directors to be appointed.

In addition to the appointments, the department announced a consultation on the CMA strategic priorities. A consultation on the draft steer for the CMA has been released to outline the long-term goals of the government in relation to competition and growth. Further, the BIS has released a consultation on government proposals for the initial CMA powers and strategic priorities setting out how it will carry out its functions to deliver a more robust competition regime.

“Today’s announcement is a huge step towards creating the Competition and Markets Authority,” said Lord Currie, Chair Designate of the CMA. “The team of Non-Executive Directors who are being appointed to the Board bring with them experience and expertise that will be invaluable as we create a new reformed, streamlined regime. I very much look forward to working with them in setting up this world-class competition authority.”

“The consultation announced today on the first set of draft guidance documents is a landmark in our journey towards the CMA,” according to a statement of CMA Chief Executive Designate Alex Chisholm. “Guided by expert advice from the Office of Fair Trading and Competition Commission, together with BIS and concurrent regulators, these documents set out how David Currie and I intend the CMA to carry out its work.”

MainStory: TopStory Antitrust

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