Draft Ofwat competition law enforcement guidance

Ofwat consultation (28 pages, PDF) on a proposed revision to its 2000 Competition Act 1998 guidance. Responses by Wednesday 12 March 2008 or Thursday 13 March 2008.

Franck's comment. This focuses on procedures, cross-references to other guidance and generalities. But the following propositions might be of interest to those involved in competition disputes in the water sector:

4.33 The [water supply licensing] regime contains a dispute handling process. As a result, most complaints about anti-competitive behaviour relating to combined supply and retail competition will be dealt with under this specifically designed regime rather than the [Competition Act 1998]. However, there are some issues not covered specifically in the [Water Act 2003] and the relevant regulations and guidance. In those circumstances, Ofwat would apply the [Competition Act 1998] if it was appropriate to do so.

4.35 Insets are provided for in the [Water Industry Act 1991]. Ofwat publishes guidance on how to apply for an inset appointment application. As a result, Ofwat will usually seek to resolve disputes about insets using its specific powers under the [Water Industry Act 1991] and the information in its guidance. Nevertheless, there might be occasions when Ofwat will find it appropriate to apply the [Competition Act 1998] to such complaints about inset-related issues.

For further information or advice please contact Franck Latrémolière.

Filed under Ofwat, Water.

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