An introduction to the OFT's mergers work.
The Office of Fair Trading obtains and reviews information relating to merger situations and, where necessary, refers any relevant mergers to the Competition Commission (CC) for further investigation.
The OFT refers completed and anticipated mergers to the Competition Commission for further investigation if it believes that it is or may be the case that:
The OFT may, however, decide not to make a reference if it believes that:
While most mergers will raise no issues relating to a substantial lessening of competition, the merger control process is designed to allow the OFT to identify those where such issues may arise, so that they may be examined in greater detail through a reference to the CC.
The OFT also has the function of advising the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on mergers which might fall within the scope of the public interest or the special public interest provisions of the Enterprise Act.
Back to: Enforcement and regulation