asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will make an assessment of the effect of the Competition Act on prices.
So far, the Competition Act, in a manner similar to the Price Commission which it abolished, has had little direct effect on the general level of prices. However, the containment of costs is a most important factor which affects the ultimate level of price increases. Investigation of nationalised industries' costs and efficiency under section 11 of the Act are helping the industries concerned to contain their costs. This in turn is likely to have a moderating effect upon their price increases.