A crackdown on cartels is coming

Jan Samuel

Solicitors firms have received an email from the Competition and Markets Authority, advertising the launch of a campaign to encourage businesses to report cartels to the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority).

If a business is involved in a cartel, it can be fined up to 10% of its turnover, individuals can be disqualified from acting as a director, and directors can even receive a prison sentence in particularly serious cases.

Businesses which come forward and report their involvement in cartels to the CMA, can expect leniency, in the form of immunity from fines and criminal prosecution. However, unless you are the first party to report a cartel, the leniency would not apply.

Solicitors have been asked to raise awareness of the CMA’s campaign and make businesses aware of cartel risks. This is against the background of the CMA starting a crackdown on these type of business arrangements.

What is a cartel?

Cartels are usually defined as groups of businesses who work together to artificially fix prices or limit supplies, in order to increase their profits. These practices are illegal. 

Are you part of a cartel?

In light of the CMA crackdown, any businesses who are operating in this way, should consider very carefully disclosing their involvement to the CMA at an early stage.

There is a cartels hotline you can call - 020 3738 6888. 

If you have any doubt about whether you should be reporting business practices to the CMA, contact us today for a free, no obligation discussion.