The growing power of unaccountable regulators


Housing and Planning

Matthew Lesh quoted in The i

Matthew Lesh writes in The Telegraph

IEA Director of Public Policy and Communications Matthew Lesh has written in The Daily Telegraph discussing the termination of a $20bn merger between Adobe and Figma, and the Competition and Markets Authority’s role in it.

Matthew wrote:

“[The termination] came after the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) claimed the acquisition could substantially reduce competition in provisional findings that effectively ruled out any practical ways forward.

“At first blush, this case may appear technical. But it speaks to an emerging pattern of out-of-control regulatory behaviour that risks turning the UK into a digital backwater.

“The CMA, by holding up deals and inventing novel arguments to do so, is raising eyebrows among investors with billions at stake. It appears to be taking pride in moving faster and harsher than its international counterparts, but this risks grave unintended consequences for the UK business environment.

“Brexit was meant to be an opportunity for the Government to ‘take back control’, yet it has handed more powers to regulators than ever before. Britain’s economic prospects are now under serious threat. It’s time to rein in the regulators, starting with the CMA.”

Read Matthew’s full piece here.

In September 2023, Matthew co-authored Digital Overload: How the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill’s sweeping new powers threaten Britain’s economy, a paper warning about the unintended consequences of gifting the CMA broad powers with little accountability.