Competition and Markets Authority
Authority overview
Formed1 October 2013
TypeNon-ministerial government department
JurisdictionUnited Kingdom
HeadquartersThe Cabot
25 Cabot Square
E14 4QZ
Employees859; 831 FTEs (2021)[1]
Authority executives
Parent departmentDepartment for Business and Trade
Child Authority Edit this at Wikidata

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is the principal competition regulator in the United Kingdom. It is a non-ministerial government department in the United Kingdom, responsible for strengthening business competition and preventing and reducing anti-competitive activities. The CMA launched in shadow form on 1 October 2013 and began operating fully on 1 April 2014, when it assumed many of the functions of the previously existing Competition Commission and Office of Fair Trading, which were abolished. The CMA also has consumer protection responsibilities and will also be taking on new digital markets regulation responsibilities in late 2024 under the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Act 2024.[4]

The CMA is widely viewed as one of the foremost antitrust agencies in the world, alongside the European Commission, the United States Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission.[5][6]


On 15 March 2012, the UK Government's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) announced proposals for strengthening competition in the UK by merging the Office of Fair Trading and the Competition Commission to create a new single Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).[7] The formation of the CMA was enacted in Part 3 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013,[8] which received royal assent on 25 April 2013.

In July 2012, Lord Currie was appointed chairman designate of the CMA, and in January 2013, Alex Chisholm was appointed Chief Executive designate.[9] The term 'designate' was dropped when the CMA was launched on 1 October 2013.

On 15 July 2013, BIS announced the first stage of an open public consultation period and published a summary setting out the background to the consultation and inviting views on the draft guidance for the CMA.[10] The first stage of the consultation ended on 6 September 2013. On 17 September, BIS announced the second stage of the consultation, which closed on 7 November 2013.[11]

During 2013 and 2014, the CMA announced several waves of appointments at the director level, reporting to members of the senior executive team.[12]

On 28 March 2014, the CMA published the Rules of Procedure for CMA merger, market, and special reference groups[13] following a consultation which ran from 21 February to 18 March.

On 12 August 2019, the CMA's London office moved to The Cabot, 25 Cabot Square, in London's Canary Wharf area.[14]

In 2021, the CMA announced that it would establish branch offices in Manchester and Darlington. The Manchester office would house the Digital Markets Unit, charged with "oversee[ing] a new regulatory regime for the most powerful digital firms", forming a 'Digital Hub' with the Digital Regulation Co-operation Forum. The Darlington office, part of the UK Government's Darlington Economic Campus, would be home to the Microeconomics Unit, in charge of the economic research and evaluation functions of the CMA, including production of the State of Competition report. The Microeconomics Unit is intended to complement the Bank of England's role in macroeconomics, and in July 2023 announced a research and skills-development partnership with the Durham Research in Economic Analysis and Mechanisms centre at Durham University.[15][16]


See also: English contract law and EU competition law

In situations where competition could be unfair or consumer choice may be affected, the CMA is responsible for:[17]

Notable cases

See also


  1. ^ "CMA: workforce management information December 2021". Retrieved 4 February 2022.
  2. ^ "Marcus Bokkerink". GOV.UK. Retrieved 7 October 2022.
  3. ^ "Sarah Cardell, CEO of the Competition and Markets Authority". GOV.UK. Retrieved 11 February 2024.
  4. ^ (5 June 2024). "Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Act 2024". Retrieved 5 June 2024.
  5. ^ "The newfound influence of the UK's competition watchdog". Retrieved 22 December 2023.
  6. ^ "Merger Control 2023 - UK | Global Practice Guides | Chambers and Partners". Retrieved 22 December 2023.
  7. ^ "Strengthening competition and creating a single competition and markets authority (CMA)". Department for Business Innovation & Skills. 15 March 2012. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
  8. ^ "Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013, Part 3". The National Archives. 25 April 2013. Retrieved 26 March 2014.
  9. ^ "Competition and Markets Authority". Ministerial statement by Vince Cable. 8 January 2013. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
  10. ^ "Competition and Markets Authority – Open consultation guidance". Department for Business, Innovation & Skills. 15 July 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  11. ^ "Competition and Markets Authority guidance, Part 2". Department for Business Innovation and Skills, UK Government. 17 September 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
  12. ^ Appointments at Director level:
    seven: "CMA announces further appointments". Competition and Markets Authority, UK Government. 6 November 2013. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
    eighteen "Second wave of appointments". Competition and Markets Authority, UK Government. 14 November 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
    eighteen "Third wave of appointments". Competition and Markets Authority, UK Government. 13 December 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
    eleven "Further wave of appointments". Competition and Markets Authority, UK Government. 24 January 2014. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
  13. ^ "Rules of Procedure for Merger, Market and Special Reference Groups" (PDF). CMA. 28 March 2014. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  14. ^ "CMA completes move to Canary Wharf". Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  15. ^ "CMA to open offices in Manchester and Darlington". CMA. 19 November 2021.
  16. ^ "Microeconomics expertise takes alliance with UK government to the next level". Durham University. 28 July 2023.
  17. ^ "CMA Responsibilities". UK Government. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  18. ^ "Competition: Mergers - detailed information - GOV.UK".
  19. ^ "Competition: Markets - detailed information - GOV.UK".
  20. ^ Yorkshire Reporter, CAM Presses Ahead with Full Investigation into Vets Market, June 2024, p. 20
  21. ^ Competition and Markets Authority, Veterinary services for household pets, updated 10 June 2024, accessed on 24 June 2024