This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on competition, monopolies and mergers. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

05.01.2016Competition in energy markets in Great Britain
This Commons Library briefing paper looks at the history of political and regulatory intervention designed to increase the competiveness of domestic energy markets in Great Britain. The Paper sets out the timetable for the Energy Market Investigation and summarises the provisional findings that the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published. The paper also summarises the main actions that Ofgem has undertaken in the past to tackle the level and complexity of tariffs.
12.11.2015Supermarkets : The Groceries Code Adjudicator
This note provides a short history to the events that lead up to the establishment of the Groceries Code Adjudicator in June 2013, , and recent debates as to the Adjudicator's impact and the review of its remit which is to be undertaken in 2016.
09.11.2015The UK competition regime
This note gives an introduction to the purpose of competition law, and a summary of the institutional arrangements in this country for enforcing it.
25.09.2015Alcohol: minimum pricing
A ban on the sale of alcohol below cost price, defined as alcohol duty plus VAT, came into force on 28 May 2014. This followed the Coalition Government's announcement in July 2013 that it would not introduce a minimum unit price. Alcohol charities and public health groups continue to argue for the introduction of a minimum unit price, claiming that this would have more of an impact on alcohol-related harm than the ban on below cost selling.
09.06.2015EU exit: impact in key UK policy areas
If the UK left the EU, would UK citizens benefit? This would depend on how the Government filled any policy gaps left by withdrawal. In some areas, the environment, for example, where the UK is bound by other international agreements, much of the content of EU law would probably remain. In others, the government might decide to retain the substance of EU law, or to remove EU obligations from UK statutes. Much would also depend on whether the UK sought to remain in the European Economic Area and therefore continue to have access to the single market, or preferred to go it alone and negotiate bilateral agreements with the EU. This paper looks at the current situation in a range of policy areas and considers how it might change be if the UK left the EU.
19.05.2015Key Issues for the 2015 Parliament
This book examines the key issues facing the House of Commons over the course of the 2015 Parliament - from the public finances to the UK's membership of the EU and from school places for children to climate change.
13.05.2015Pub companies, pub tenants & pub closures: introducing statutory regulation (2014-15)
This note examines the passage of the Coalition Government's legislation to establish a new system of regulation for the pubs sector. A second Library note discusses the historical background to this initiative (SN6740).
13.05.2015Pub companies, pub tenants & pub closures: background history (up to 2014)
This note looks at the slow progress towards a statutory system of regulation of the pub company - tenant relationship. A second Library note discusses recent developments in this area (SN7074).
16.01.2015Takeovers : the public interest test
The Enterprise Act 2002 effected a major reform of the merger regime - including a new competition test for assessing mergers & takeovers, to be used in most cases. This replaced a broader public interest test, which some have argued should be reintroduced, to prevent foreign takeovers from damaging national interests. This note discusses the 2002 reform, and the recent debate.
17.11.2014Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill: Committee stage report
This is a report on the House of Commons Committee stage of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill.

Lords Library Notes

12.10.2015Availability and Quality of Apprenticeships, and the Spread of Apprenticeships across the Labour Market
This Library Note provides statistical information on apprenticeships, based on the most recent figures published by the Skills Funding Agency (SFA). It then focusses on four key areas of recent government policy development in relation to apprenticeships: the announcement of a government target of three million new apprenticeships by the end of March 2020; the development of new apprenticeship standards
28.11.2014Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill (HL Bill 57 of session 2014-15)
This Library Note provides background reading ahead of the Bill's second reading in the House of Lords on 2 December 2014.
09.11.2012Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill (HL Bill 45 of 2012-13)
The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill includes measures for changes to competition policy, to employment law, and for reducing regulation, as well as provisions on the Green Investment Bank, directors' remuneration, copyright and planning. This Library Note provides background reading in advance of the Bill's second reading in the House of Lords.


29.05.2015UK Broadband Infrastructure
The growing use of smart phones and data intensive services (such as video streaming), has increased demand for both fixed and mobile internet. This POSTnote looks at patterns in broadband access and use, and the technical and policy challenges of enhancing UK broadband infrastructure to meet future needs.

Select Committee Reports

30.03.2010Market Failure?
Communities and Local Government Select Committee report [Commons]
23.03.2010Pub companies: follow-up.
Government response. Business Innovation and Skills Select Committee report [Commons]
12.10.2009Market failure?: can the traditional market survive? Government response to the Communities and Local...
Government response. Communities and Local Government report [Commons]
07.07.2009Market failure?: can the traditional market survive? Communities and Local Government Select Committee...
Communities and Local Government Select Committee report [Commons]
23.06.2009Pub companies.
Business and Enterprise Select Committee report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

That this House recognises the high levels of personal debt accrued within British society, the restricted access to affordable credit for those on low incomes or with poor credit ratings ...
That this House expresses concern at the amount of literature sent by post by consumer credit companies advertising loans and credit cards; notes that often such literature suggests ...
That this House notes the recent changes to the UK's mobile number portability system which Ofcom has introduced; is concerned that the UK remains the only country in Europe where consumers ...
That this House recognises that mobile termination rates charged between telephone operators are some of the highest in Europe; notes that this cost is passed directly to consumers; ...
That this House supports proposals for a significant reduction in mobile termination rates (MTRs); is concerned that an artificial floor on the cost of mobile telephone calls distorts ...


  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses