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21/05/2020

Register of competition law exclusion orders relating to coronavirus published

Subject: Competition law

Source: GOV.UK

The Government has published a register of competition law exclusion orders relating to coronavirus (COVID-19). Under powers contained in the Competition Act 1998, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy may make orders excluding from competition law restrictions certain agreements which might normally be considered anti-competitive.

It appears that all the major retailers in the grocery sector have participated in certain arrangements which have been notified.

In the dairy sector, the Government made the Competition Act 1998 (Dairy Produce) (Coronavirus) (Public Policy Exclusion) Order 2020 (SI 2020 No. 481) which came into effect on 1 May 2020. The Order was made in response to the effects of over-supply of milk and reduced processing capacity in the dairy sector. The over-supply has increased due to the ‘Spring flush’, during which the production of cows milk typically increases by 12% compared to the annual average.

 

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