6.0 Competition Assessment
56. This assessment follows the guidelines set out by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which outline how to determine any competition impact. These guidelines recommend considering four key questions in order to assess whether a proposed policy would have an impact on competition. These four questions are listed and answered below.
Will the measure directly or indirectly limit the number or range of suppliers?
The proposal will not directly limit the number or range of suppliers of carrier bags since it does not favour particular suppliers or types of bags. It could indirectly limit the number or range of suppliers by reducing overall demand for bags. This effect will, in part, be offset by increased demand for BfLs.
The proposal will apply equally to all retailers, regardless of size, except for the reduced record keeping requirements for smaller retailers to reduce administration. It will not directly or indirectly limit the number or range of retailers.
Will the measure limit the ability of suppliers to compete?
The policy might result in adverse impacts on SUCB suppliers, partly offset by positive effects from the increased demand for BfLs and bin bags. Positive effects may also result from the development of other sustainable alternatives to SUCBs.
The proposal will not raise costs to smaller entrants relative to larger suppliers and the consultation with businesses did not return any evidence to suggest that it will limit the ability of suppliers to compete.
Will the measure limit suppliers’ incentives to compete vigorously?
The proposal will not raise costs to smaller retailers relative to larger ones and it will not limit retailers’ ability to compete or reduce incentives for them to compete vigorously.
Will the measure limit the choices and information available to consumers?
As SUCBs will not be banned, the proposal does not directly limit the choices or information available to consumers. The proposal may encourage more retailers to stop selling SUCBs altogether and switch to BfL, so could indirectly limit the choices available to consumers, but in a manner consistent with the policy’s objectives.