The competition watchdog’s plan to revive competition in the energy market is in crisis because the reform may fall foul of new data protection rules. In 2016, after a two-year review, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) concluded that the best way to encourage customers to switch suppliers was to allow rival companies to send marketing literature to anyone who has not changed tariffs for more than three years. That proposal could be illegal, however, under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that was introduced last month. Lawyers at the “big six” energy companies are advising that they may be in breach of the law if they provide the contact details of customers to rival suppliers. A senior figure at one of the companies told The Times: “The situation is absurd. If we have customers who have ticked a box saying they don’t want us, let alone anyone else, to contact them, are we supposed just to hand over their details so that any one of the 76 other supplies can contact them?
Times 3rd July 2018 read more »