The OFT actively investigates markets that do not appear to be meeting the needs of consumers and publishes the results. Some studies will be in response to super-complaints, a route for designated consumer bodies to bring complaints to the attention of the OFT.
Market studies involve an analysis of a particular market, or practices across a range of goods and services, with the aim of identifying and addressing any aspects of market failure from competition issues to consumer detriment and the effect of government regulations.
Under the Enterprise Act, we have the power to refer markets to the Competition Commission for further investigation where we have reasonable grounds for suspecting that any feature, or combination of features, of a market is preventing, restricting, or distorting competition.
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The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills can designate certain bodies which represent consumers to make super-complaints. Super-complaints can be made to the OFT by a designated consumer body when it thinks that a feature, or combination of features, of a market is, or appears to be, significantly harming the interests of consumers.
The Register provides details of Orders made and undertakings currently in force under the market investigation and mergers provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002 as is required by that Act. It also provides details of Orders and undertakings currently in force and made under the monopoly and merger provisions of the Fair Trading Act 1973.