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Launch of the Office for the Internal Market (OIM)

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Today marks a significant milestone in the work we're doing to create the Office for the Internal Market (OIM) as a new function within the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

In publishing our statutory guidance for consultation, we are – for the first time - setting out how we think the OIM might work and inviting businesses, governments, regulators and other interested parties to give their views on the OIM’s role and functions.

These views are really important to us as we design and develop our approach to protecting the effective operation of the UK internal market, following the return of powers from the EU to the UK Government and Devolved Administrations.

As the first Senior Director for the OIM – in post since April 2021 – I welcome the opportunity to build and lead a brand new team to deliver all the tasks necessary to make us ready for business in September when we expect to launch the OIM.

As a team, we're working closely with all 4 of the UK’s administrations to understand the policy context within which the OIM will be carrying out its functions. As potential recipients of our advice and reports, the 4 nations have a strong interest in helping us to build the procedures and develop the evidence necessary for successful delivery of our work.

The CMA has done a lot in recent years to build a better understanding of markets in the nations, in part through strengthening our presence in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and this has put us in a strong position to take on this new, really important, function.

The work of the OIM, in the form devised by the UK Internal Market Act, is without a direct equivalent elsewhere. This makes the functions somewhat different to other well-established CMA functions, which have had the opportunity to work with and build on international best practice over many years.

Learning from best practice and casework elsewhere has made the CMA one of the most successful and respected competition authorities in the world.

We are looking to achieve similar success and respect for the OIM, building on the CMA’s experience and reputation for independent, evidence based analysis.  We are in an early stage of development of the OIM, with much to learn and refine over the next few years.

Our guidance is the first step in ensuring we get off to a strong start in September. And with that in mind, we are very keen to benefit from your inputs to ensure that our function is as useful, relevant and balanced as possible.

The CMA is holding a consultation on the OIM's draft guidance until 22 July 2021. Find out how you can share your views here.

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