CMA dawn raids and interviews
Produced in partnership with Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
CMA dawn raids and interviews

The following Competition guidance note Produced in partnership with Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • CMA dawn raids and interviews
  • Types of inspection carried out by CMA
  • CMA’s inspection powers under Part 1 of Competition Act 1998
  • CMA’s inspection powers when conducting an investigation on behalf of the Commission (Part 2 of the Competition Act 1998)
  • CMA’s inspection powers when conducting an investigation on behalf of a NCA (under Part 2A of the Competition Act 1998)
  • CMA’s inspection powers when conducting an investigation into the criminal cartel offence (under Part 6 of the Enterprise Act 2002)
  • Dawn raids in the context of merger situations
  • CMA’s powers to interview
  • Limitations on the CMA’s powers
  • Practical insights

BREXIT: The law and practice referred to in this Practice Note may be impacted by Brexit. For further information on the potential impact, see: The effect of Brexit on UK competition law in a deal or no deal scenario.

The arrival of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) (or any other competition authority) to conduct a dawn raid is likely to be an unwelcome surprise for any business and its officers/employees. This Practice Note provides an overview of the powers of the CMA to conduct inspections, including unannounced inspections (often referred to as dawn raids), including:

  1. the CMA’s dawn raid powers

  2. the CMA’s powers to conduct interviews

  3. limits to these powers (eg privilege and self-incrimination), and

  4. some practical insights, including how to challenge a warrant.

Specifically, it reviews powers associated with both civil investigations (conducted pursuant to the Competition Act 1998) and criminal investigations into the cartel offence (as set out in Part 6 of the Enterprise Act 2002). The note also covers the power of the CMA to conduct dawn raids on behalf of the European Commission (Commission) and other national competition authorities (NCAs). Details of the Commission’s powers to conduct dawn raids can be found in European Commission’s powers of inspection and the rights of defence. It should be noted that following Brexit, the powers of the CMA to assist