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Competition watchdog chief to quit after six years

·2-min read

The chief executive of the competition watchdog has announced he will quit the organisation in the summer.

Competition and Markets Authority boss Andrea Coscelli is set to stand down in July after six years in the job.

Chairman Jonathan Scott said: “Andrea has given outstanding leadership to the CMA during a period of unprecedented change for the UK competition and consumer protection regime.”

He added: “He has led the organisation through a period of transformation, as we took on substantial new responsibilities after the UK’s departure from the EU along with new functions including the Office for the Internal Market and the Digital Markets Unit.”

Mr Coscelli said: “By July I will have served for almost nine years as an executive director at the CMA, including six as chief executive. I feel now is the right time to confirm I will not be seeking another term.

“There is still a huge amount of work to do over the next six months and my focus will be on delivering the organisation’s objectives and enabling a smooth transition.”

The boss joined the organisation at its inception in 2013, having previously been a competitions expert for various organisations including telecoms regulator Ofcom.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng will appoint the next CMA boss (House of Commons/PA)

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “I am extremely grateful to Andrea Coscelli for the leadership he has provided as chief executive of the CMA through the last six years.

“We will continue to work closely with the CMA to promote competition for the benefit of consumers and enable businesses to make the most of the many opportunities on the horizon.”

During his tenure, Mr Coscelli has overseen a series of high-profile successful and aborted mergers of major British companies.

The CMA slapped down a merger between Asda and Sainsbury’s in 2019 and more recently ordered JD Sports to sell Footasylum and for Facebook to split from Giphy.

It also led an investigation into price gouging during the Covid-19 crisis and censured several travel firms for failing to refund customers for cancelled holidays, threatening court action in some cases.

Plans for his replacement will be announced by Mr Kwarteng’s department “in due course”, the Government said.

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