A competition regulator is a government agency, typically a statutory authority, sometimes called an economic regulator, which regulates and enforces competition laws, and may sometimes also enforce consumer protection laws. In addition to such agencies there is often another body responsible for formulating competition policy.
Many nations implement competition laws, and there is general agreement on acceptable standards of behavior. The degree to which countries enforce their competition policy does vary substantially, with the United States generally regarded as having the most strict competition laws and enforcement.
Competition regulators may also regulate certain aspects of mergers and acquisitions and business alliances and regulate or prohibit cartels and monopolies. Other government agencies may have responsibilities in relation to aspects of competition law which affect companies (e.g. the registrar of companies).
Regulators may form supranational or international alliances like the ECA (European Competition Authorities), the ICN (International Competition Network), and the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development).