Championing competition
An Office of Fair Trading case study

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Page 7: Conclusion

The OFT helps to make markets work better for consumers through its roles of investigation, enforcement and communication. Sometimes the OFT is obliged to take action against firms that operate against consumers' interests, but more often than not, the mere existence of the OFT is enough to give businesses the incentive to engage in fair and open competition.

Being able to select from a variety of alternatives is an essential consumer freedom, and in most markets today UK consumers have greater choice than ever before. This choice is important, but it is not sufficient on its own. The choice has to be exercised properly and wisely. If consumers want to encourage competitive markets, they need to make businesses work for their money.

Indeed, we as consumers can best support the work of the OFT by becoming more discriminating, and by seeking and demanding excellent products and high standards of service. Provided that a supplier is not acting unfairly or illegally, OFT cannot protect us against our own folly: only we can do that.

Office of Fair Trading | Championing competition