Private enforcement in the UK: Effective redress for consumers?

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This chapter assesses how private enforcement of competition law rights has developed in the UK over the last twenty years. Key legislative developments, inter alia the Competition Act 1998, Enterprise Act 2002 and Consumer Rights Act 2015, have transformed the private enforcement architecture, notably with the introduction, and increasingly significant role, of the specialist tribunal, the Competition Appeal Tribunal, and the availability of an opt-out collective redress mechanism. This chapter will assess the key UK statutory and case-law developments, in comparison with the USA private antitrust enforcement model, to consider in particular the extent to which an effective system for consumer redress has been instituted. The chapter concludes that the anticipated Supreme Court ruling in Merricks should help to determine whether the opt-out collective proceedings scheme will provide effective consumer redress and ensure that the vibrant private enforcement framework in the UK translates from business claimants to consumers in the third decade of the modern UK competition law.