On 18 March 2024, the Department for Business and Trade announced that it is consulting on competition and consumer protection related information sharing between relevant UK public authorities.

The consultation paper highlights that the sharing of information among regulators and public bodies plays an important role in effective enforcement and regulation, and that there can therefore be significant benefits in ensuring that the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and other relevant public authorities are able to share information gathered in connection with the exercise of their functions. It notes, however, that information sharing should be limited to where it is appropriate and effective safeguards are needed to protection personal data and commercially sensitive information.


The legal framework for information sharing in relation to competition and consumer law enforcement matters is set out in Part 9 of the Enterprise Act 2022 (the Act), which includes important statutory obligations that apply to the disclosure of information. Under the Act, the CMA and other relevant competition and consumer regulatory and protection authorities are prohibited from disclosing specified information relating to the affairs of an individual or any business of an undertaking, except in certain circumstances. These are set out in so-called information sharing gateways.

The consultation paper sets out two proposals which would amend the Act to ensure that the exchange of competition and consumer-protection related information between relevant UK public authorities is enabled to assist them in discharging their statutory functions.

Proposed changes

The two primary changes to the Act that are proposed in the consultation paper are:

  • The addition of enactments covering additional Bank of England (BoE) functions to the list of legislation in Schedule 15 of the Act, to further facilitate useful information sharing between the CMA and the BoE in relation to some additional key functions of the BoE. The enactments proposed to be added to Schedule 15 for this purpose include the Bank of England Act 1998 (which sets out the BoE’s monetary policy functions), the Banking Act 2009 (which provides for a special resolution regime), and Schedule 11 (Central Counterparties) to the Financial Services and Markets Act 2023 (which contains free-standing provision expanding the central counterparties resolution regime).
  • The addition of the Procurement Act 2023 to the list of legislation in Schedule 15 of the Act, to create an information sharing gateway which will enable the CMA to share relevant information with contracting authorities and the Procurement Review Unit for the purposes of facilitating their functions under the Procurement Act.  

There are also some additional, technical changes proposed in the consultation paper.

Next steps

The consultation closes on 14 April 2024.