As I leave the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), after 6 years as CEO, I wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on the challenges we have overcome and thank everyone who worked with me for what they have helped us to achieve.
Some of my personal highlights
Highlights of my time as CEO include:
- Our people have made a visible difference to the lives of consumers across the UK. The CMA has saved billions of pounds for consumers - £7 billion in the last 3 years alone
- During the pandemic we secured hundreds of millions of pounds in refunds for cancelled events and holidays because of the restrictions put in place to help battle COVID
- We have worked tirelessly in the pharmaceutical sector to stop and deter practices that had the potential to increase prices for lifesaving medications, which the NHS and patients relied on
- We have consistently monitored market and merger activity to ensure vigorous and effective competition, and so keep prices, generally, down. This included blocking the proposed merger between Sainsbury's and Asda in 2019, in part because we believed it had the potential to increase grocery prices
- We have also been very active in the ever-evolving digital space, including establishing the Digital Markets Unit to ensure the 'rules of the game' are clear and that powerful tech firms comply with them
We have also expanded by over 50% in a relatively short period of time, and increased our presence, and offices, outside of London to achieve greater understanding of the issues facing consumers across the UK.
I am proud of the significant improvements we have secured but, of course, there are more challenges to come. However, as I hand over to interim CEO Sarah Cardell, and our new Chair Marcus Bokkerink prepares to take the reins, I am confident they will be well supported by our expert staff to achieve even more.