Vulnerable consumers gaining increased attention in public debate, CMA official says

03 February 2019 00:00

Vulnerable consumers are gaining increased attention in public debate, according to a Competition and Markets Authority official.

“In the UK, we are increasingly focusing on whether our competition regime and remedies take sufficient account of the circumstances of vulnerable consumers,” Martin Coleman, a Non-Executive Director and Panel Chair at the UK Competition and Markets Authority, told a Miami* audience.

In May, the CMA hosted a joint roundtable discussion on vulnerable consumers which highlighted low levels of market engagement from vulnerable consumers, such as those with low-income or disabilities. Discussion included how digital markets could both help and hurt vulnerable consumers.

Coleman said the debate around vulnerable consumers had moved beyond policy specialists and into the broader arena.

He noted US President Donald Trump’s questioning of whether big tech companies should be broken up. He also added the antitrust-related press attention US Senator Elizabeth Warren gained when she announced her bid for presidency.

The coverage stated Warren’s belief that the US is under-enforcing antitrust laws and its agencies need to be more vigorous in challenging corporate power, Coleman said.

*GCR Live 8th Annual Antitrust Law Leaders Forum,” Miami, Florida, Feb. 1-2, 2019.

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