The Competition Commission is a UK government body that provides in-depth reviews and inspections of mergers, marketing, and regulation changes of companies in the UK. The Commission’s role is to regulate monopolistic behavior and other market malfunctions. Its website provides information that can be useful for competitive intelligence, including analysis of companies and the markets in which they operate. When the competition commission looks at a market, it does so very thoroughly. Studies also include submissions from many stakeholders.
The site is straightforward – simply visit the homepage and one is presented with a search engine box, with several search parameters:
- Search Everything – for general inquiries into a UK company.
- Search Reports – any investigations and inquiries that are closed will be presented in a return search.
- Search Press Releases – anything the company has released via the press will show up here.
- Search for Inquiry – if an inquiry is still in the works by Competition Commission, it will show up here.
Other ways to use the site is to look at the “current inquiries” section, which will reveal what investigations are ongoing. Clicking on that link will bring up a list of inquiries, as well as the ability to search by subject, company, or reference type (such as a merger).
A great advantage to this site for competitive intelligence is that it gives greatly detailed information on any number of companies. It will also give the latest date this information became available, and the scope and length of an inquiry (i.e. a study by the Commission into a possible competitive abuse). You can subscribe to an RSS news feed for new documents as they become available during the investigation.
While the information is, obviously, limited largely to the activities of UK companies, there are some international references where overseas companies have acted in the UK.
The amount of information available is impressive and well worth a look.