OFT Launches Competition Policy Consultation
The Office of Fair Trading has today launched a major consultation on its competition policy.
The existing framework of competition legislation is provided by Part 2 of the Fair Trading Act 1996 which is based on a 1980 Act of Parliament which was subsequently repealed. The OFT believes that Island legislation needs to be overhauled in order to both ensure protection for consumers and provide an environment which encourages businesses to compete in open and fair markets.
The OFT Chairman David Quirk MHK explained:
“In a free market economy it is important to provide a framework of legislation which ensures that markets work in favour of consumers. Whilst regulation is necessary in any economy it is even more important in a micro economy such as the Isle of Man, where issues of scale may result in many natural monopolies and participants enjoying market dominance. The OFT believes that the existing legislation in this area is out of date and is prioritising its modernisation.
This consultation represents the first step in a process of policy development in this area which may ultimately lead to new primary legislation. There will, of course, be further consultation about the detail of any legislation and this consultation is about the policy principles which will form the building blocks for any new legislation.”
The OFT is hoping to hear the views of both consumers and the business community on this important issue. The consultation closes on 30th September 2013 and can be accessed and completed online at http://www.gov.im/lib/docs/oft/consultations/consultativedocumentrecompetition.pdf. Paper copies are available from the OFT Offices in Lord Street or by telephoning 686576.