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About our inquiries

current item indicator  How we investigate


Enforcement powers


How we investigate

This section contains a description of our procedures for conducting inquiries, as well as information about our enforcement powers and the role of the Competition Appeal Tribunal.

Please follow the links on the left.

For further details, see our Rules and Guidance documents.

Council Review

We have to act within a set legal framework for the way we conduct our operations, as shown in our Rules and Guidance documents. This ensures that our investigations are fair, transparent and rigorous.

We have internal systems designed to help the organisation learn from each inquiry and to share best practice internally. This helps us review the way we conduct our investigations, to ensure our working practices are effective and efficient, that we are using the most appropriate analytical tools, and to minimise unnecessary burdens on the organisations we are investigating.

This year as part of a wide ranging ‘Council Review’ looking at all our operations, we held three external roundtable events with leading lawyers, accountants and economists. These roundtables considered and consulted on ongoing refinement of techniques and processes used in our investigations, and resulted in some useful suggestions to improve the way that the CC collects, analyses and communicates information relating to investigations.

CC staff and members invited a small group of senior City competition lawyers with much experience of CC investigations to discuss our current investigative procedures and any ways in which they might be improved.

Our Members and staff invited a group of senior economic consultants and financial / economic academics to discuss the use of profitability analysis in CC inquiries.

Fourteen senior academics, regulators and consultants from outside the CC joined staff and members to discuss specific areas of econometric analysis used in merger and market inquiries and to assess the appropriateness of these techniques in CC inquiries, by considering their evidential value, their descriptive and predictive accuracy, and their practicality within our statutory timeframes.

We are grateful to all the participants in these roundtables for helping in the ongoing review and development of CC procedures and practices.