03/11 6 January 2011

Dr Amelia Fletcher, who for the last two years has held the dual post of OFT Chief Economist and Senior Director of Mergers, has stepped down from the latter role. Sheldon Mills, current Director of Mergers, will now manage the Mergers Group reporting directly to Executive Director for Goods, Services and Mergers, Clive Maxwell.

Dr Fletcher will continue as Chief Economist, and to play a wider leadership role following her appointment in September 2010 as a member of the OFT's Executive Committee. She will also continue to be involved as one of the two main Mergers Decision Makers. Ali Nikpay, Senior Director of Cartels and Criminal Enforcement, will be the other. Consistency will be maintained through regular interaction between the Decision Makers, and through specialist support from the Mergers Group.
Clive Maxwell said:

'Amelia took on the leadership of the Mergers Group, in addition to her role as Chief Economist, at a crucial time for the regime. She was instrumental in an important programme of work to develop policy and guidance and improve the quality of Mergers analysis. The fact that we will not be replacing her in this role reflects the strength of the team and their working arrangements.'

  1. Clive Maxwell was appointed as Executive Director for Goods, Services and Mergers in June 2010. Sheldon Mills was appointed as Director, Mergers, in February 2010.
  2. Over the past two years, the OFT has published the following Mergers-related Guidance: 'Mergers - Jurisdictional and Procedural Guidance' (June 2009) and 'Exceptions to the Duty to Refer and Undertakings in Lieu of Reference Guidance' (Dec 2010). The OFT and Competition Commission have also jointly published 'Merger Assessment Guidance' (Sept 2010). All are available from the Mergers publications page.
  3. In cases that raise no serious competition issues, the decision to clear the merger is taken within Mergers Group. However, in cases that raise more complex or material competition issues, an issues letter is sent to the parties, and the final decision on the merger is taken by a senior Mergers Decision Maker. For more details on this process, see Mergers - Jurisdictional and Procedural Guidance, paragraphs 6.46 to 6.62.