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