CMA cases could run for up to a year

The Competition and Markets Authority could take up to 12 months to redetermine the PR19 settlements of Anglian Water, Yorkshire Water, Northumbrian Water and Bristol Water. The prospect came to light Ofwat granted the competition watchdog's request for a six-month extension to the usual six-month timetable.

The extension reflects possible disruption from the Covid-19 situation, but also the scale and nature of the four referrals, which is unprecedented in water sector case history.

The CMA published the following timetable last week.

19 March 2020 – References made and initial submission received from Ofwat

Early April 2020 – Affected water companies submit details of the grounds for redetermination(s)

Early to mid April 2020 – Parties (water companies) present to Group

Early May 2020 – Deadline for Ofwat’s response to the affected water companies

Mid May 2020 – Parties (Ofwat) present to Group

May 2020 – Third party hearings

Late May 2020 – Deadline for affected water companies’ responses to Ofwat’s reply

Late May to late August 2020 – CMA analysis phase

Early June 2020 – Deadline for third party submissions

July 2020 – Main party hearings

Late July 2020 – Deadline for main party submissions

Mid September 2020 – Publish provisional determination

Early October 2020 – Deadline for responses to provisional determination

Early October - mid November 2020 – CMA analysis phase

End November/start December 2020 – Target for determination(s) to be sent by CMA to Ofwat

18 March 2021 – Statutory deadline