Friday, October 25, 2019

Help Stop Cartels

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has issued three firms with fines totalling more than £36 million for breaking competition law in supplying certain concrete drainage products for building projects.

These companies took part in an illegal cartel covering the UK, where they secretly shared out the market for important building products and agreed to keep prices artificially high.

Cartels are formed when businesses agree not to compete with each other and engage in practices such as price-fixing, bid-rigging and market-sharing. They are illegal because they distort the market and cheat customers out of getting a good deal.

CMA research shows that only 18% of construction company leaders say they know competition law well. To address this problem the CMA has begun the Stop Cartels campaign, which aims to educate businesses about which practices are illegal and urges people to come forward if they suspect a business has taken part in cartel behaviour. There are also a range of guidance to help businesses understand more about competition law.

BESA encourages all members to learn about what practices are illegal and to be vigilant and report cartels they encounter. In addition to the CMA's campaign BESA has produced a ‘Competition Law Guidance’ to help members BESA be aware of their legal obligations. The Guidance can be found here on the BESA website.

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