New enforcement powers for consumer protection law violations
The bill proposes to significantly strengthen the enforcement of consumer protection law by giving civil courts new penalty powers, along with allowing the CMA to use its out-of-court powers to determine and sanction violations:
Expanding the power of civil courts: New powers will be granted to civil courts to impose civil monetary penalties for violations of consumer protection laws under the bill. Local authorities and the CMA, for example, can apply to the courts for penalties of up to £300,000, or 10% of a company’s global turnover, whichever is greater.
CMA’s new powers: A new administrative model of consumer law enforcement is introduced in the bill, giving the CMA authority to impose monetary penalties (up to 10% of a business’ global turnover) if certain consumer laws are violated. The CMA will therefore be able to enforce consumer law with powers similar to those currently afforded for competition law enforcement.. A higher penalty will be imposed on those who fail to comply with investigative requirements (e.g. failing to comply with information notices or providing false or misleading information) and penalties based on business turnover for noncompliance with CMA orders, undertakings and accepted commitments. These powers will allow the CMA to take on more cases faster. The purpose is to protect consumers and create a level playing field.