Enterprise Act received Royal Assent on 7 November 2002 and
covers a range of measures designed to enhance enterprise. It
strengthens the UK’s competition framework, transforms our
approach to bankruptcy and corporate rescue, and empowers
Act builds on the progress made by the Competition Act 1998,
recent insolvency reforms and measures already implemented in
the 1999 White Paper ‘Modern Markets: Confident
Full text of the Act (link to HMSO).
Explanatory Notes (link to HMSO).
the button to view our Fact Sheet on the Act.
Office for Fair Trading (OFT) has published a guide to the
principal competition and consumer provisions of the
Enterprise Act and also the Office’s new role under the Act.
Consumer and competition provisions of the Enterprise Act which
came into force on 20 June 2003 and additional Statutory
Instruments made under Part 8.
Act Part 9 information.
Act Schedules 14 and 15.
Reforms in the Enterprise Act
of Fair Trading
Establishes the OFT as an independent statutory body with a
Board, and gives it a greater role in ensuring that markets
work well to the benefit of all.
The introduction of the ‘substantial lessening of
competition’ test to replace previous wider public
A turnover test replaces the previous current assets test
for determining which mergers
qualify for investigation.
The Competition Appeals Tribunal will hear cases by third
parties alleging that companies have infringed the
• Criminal sanctions with
a maximum penalty of five years in prison to deter those
individuals who dishonestly operate hardcore cartels.
New power for the OFT to ask the High Court for directors to
be disqualified for up to five years for competition
Consumer bodies able to make complaints (known as ‘supercomplaints’)
as a representative body to the Office of Fair Trading about
markets that are not working well for consumers.
• There are greater
opportunities for victims of anti-competitive behaviour to
gain redress. Consumer bodies
will be able to make claims on behalf of individuals who
Enforcement Orders regime (Stop Now Orders)
to protect consumers from traders who do not meet their
to approve Codes of Practice.
Insolvency Service web
Regulatory Impact Assessments (RIAs)
Impact Assessments (RIAs) are published with regulatory
proposals and new legislation.
RIA describes the issue that has given rise to a need for
regulation and compares various possible options for dealing
with that issue. The costs and benefits of each option are
identified, and quantified wherever possible, to help policy
makers think through the consequences of proposals, improve
advice to ministers, and encourage informed public debate
RIAs published at enactment
Reform RIA (29 pages)
Provisions RIA (21 pages)
Protection RIA (14 pages)