Competition: Commission adopts Recommendation for Council Decision authorising negotiations for EU-UK Competition Cooperation Agreement

The European Commission has adopted a Recommendation for a Council Decision authorising negotiations for an EU-UK Competition Cooperation Agreement. The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), which entered into force on 1 May 2021, foresees the possibility for a separate agreement on cooperation in competition matters between the Commission and the competition authorities of the Member States, on the one hand, and the competition authorities of the UK on the other hand. The Recommendation to Council proposes to proceed with implementation of this point of the TCA. The envisaged competition cooperation agreement may include conditions for the exchange and use of confidential information in the context of antitrust and merger control matters. From the EU side, the agreement will relate to the application of EU competition law. Proper coordination of competition enforcement between the EU and UK will benefit European consumers and businesses. The Commission has already negotiated several formal international competition cooperation agreements with third countries: with the US (1991), Canada (1999), Japan (2003), South Korea (2009) and Switzerland (2013). The Commission has transmitted the Recommendation to the Council and the European Parliament, as well as to the European Data Protection Supervisor. It is now for the Council to consider whether and under which conditions to allow for the start of negotiations on an EU-UK competition cooperation agreement.