Compendium of Insurance Law
COMPETITION AND INSURANCE
10.1 UK competition law has been transformed since 1998. The Competition Act 1988 and the Enterprise Act 2002 repealed most of the earlier legislation and replaced it with a more logical structure which is based on the EU’s competition rules set out in Arts 81 and 82 of the EC Treaty and in the Mergers Regulation, Council Regulation 139/2004/EC. Part I of the Competition Act prohibits agreements which have as their object or effect the prevention, restriction or distortion of trade within the UK: this echoes Art 81 of the EC Treaty, which is concerned with cross-border agreements affecting the EU market rather than an individual domestic market. Part II of the Competition Act 1998 prohibits abuse of dominant position, in the form of conduct by an undertaking with market dominance which prevents, restricts or distorts competition within the UK: this echoes Art 82 of the EC Treaty, which performs a similar function for cross-border abuses. Investigations are conducted by the Office of Fair Trading. The Enterprise Act 2002 establishes a procedure for the investigation of individual markets (a process which has no counterpart in EU law) and for the investigation of mergers (which reflects the EU Merger Regulation): references are made by the OFT to the Competition Commission for its investigation and report. The relevant provisions are not reproduced in the present work, as they are not specific to insurance and in practice have had a relatively limited impact on the insurance market.