Global Britain Is Closed for Business

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One of the supposed benefits of Brexit was that Britain would once again become “Global Britain,” able to adjust its regulatory approaches to one more suited to an advancing world rather than a sclerotic corner like the European Union. Unfortunately for the citizens of the U.K., Brexit coincided with a growing consensus among politicians and the public that the best way to deal with any contentious political issue was to “depoliticize” it by appointing an independent body to look after the issue, free from ministerial or parliamentary control.

In practice, of course, this has led to the “independent” regulators doing exactly what public-choice theory would predict and expanding their powers. The poster child for this is the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which has decided to flex its muscles and show the world that it is one of the big three competition regulators alongside the FTC and the European Commission.

We got a taste of this when the CMA decided to block Meta’s acquisition of the tiny GIF library GIPHY on the ludicrous grounds that GIPHY might become a global player in the advertising space. Despite losing on some grounds on appeal, the CMA forced Meta to sell GIPHY, which it had to do at a  loss of $260 million.

Read the full article on the National Review.