Competition Appeals Tribunal

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Competition Appeals Tribunal (CAT)

a body established by the ENTERPRISE ACT 2002 to hear appeals in regard to ‘disputed’ merger cases. The OFFICE OF FAIR TRADING has the power to refer proposed mergers and takeovers to the COMPETITION COMMISSION for investigation if it believes that the merger/takeover would ‘substantially lessen competition’. If, in the OFT's view, this is not the case, it can allow the merger/takeover to go ahead without reference. This is where the CAT comes in. An interested party (e.g. a competitor of the companies involved in the merger) may ‘appeal’ to the CAT that the OFT decision not to refer is ‘wrong’. The task of the CAT is to arbitrate and decide if there is indeed a case for reference and can ‘order’ a reference to the Competition Commission if it sees fit.