In truth, the draft GCA Bill represents a significant dilution of the remedy recommended by the Competition Commission to address the competition problems it found. The BIS committee concluded that such dilution was not justified, but even its recommendations fall short of the Competition Commission's recommendation in certain respects.
We have been here before. When the Competition Commission found problems in retailers' relationships with suppliers in 2000, the remedy it recommended was diluted by the OFT and DTI (as BIS was then). The result? It failed to work satisfactorily and was a contributory factor to the 2008 market investigation.
The GCA Bill is the first major test of a new competition regime that aims to de-politicise competition enforcement. If this new regime is to be credible, government must introduce the Adjudicator precisely as the Competition Commission recommended, no more, no less.
John Noble, Director, British Brands Group