Competition encourages business to improve and innovate for the benefit of customers. Competition law makes sure businesses are competing on a level playing field and are protected from others acting unfairly.
The Competition & Markets Authority promote competition for the benefit of consumers in the UK and outside the UK. Our aim is to make markets work well for consumers, businesses and economy. They are an independent non-ministerial department.
From the 1st April 2014 the CMA took over many of the functions of Competition Commission (CC) and the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).
CMA have responsibilities for that are supported by a range of powers which are based on legislation along with aligned strategic goals which again our displayed within their annual plan of 2015 to 2016. Some of the highlighted goals are:
Delivering and effective enforcement to stop wrong doing, which can then protect the consumer and educate businesses
They want to achieve professional excellence by managing cases efficiently and fairly ensure all legal, economic and financial analysis is conducted to the highest standards.
Reinforcing consumer protection, working with partners to promote compliance and understanding of the law, empowering consumers to make good choices.
There are 3 Damaging behaviours that we all need to be aware of -
- Dividing up and sharing markets
- Bid Rigging and discussing Tenders
- Price Fixing
Details of each behaviours are explained within the fact sheet that you can downloaded for free.
Why does it Matter?
Doing any of the activities that are listed could end up breaking the competition law which has serious consequences. Businesses can face big fines and individuals can be banned from running a company and can even go to jail.
The CMA are working with a range of organisations throughout the UK and internationally and they include bodies like Trading Standards, Citizens Advice, Consumer Councils. Information about bad practices within the marketplace are welcome but responding to individuals cannot always be dealt with in detail.
For more details information about the CMA and how they are working to make competing fairly in business please visit the details on Gov.uk which you can find here.
Competing fairly in business: advice for small businesses
Video guides on illegal anti-competitive activities
Press Notice - December 2015