Drive to improve awareness of competition law
The confusion surrounding competition law has been a cause for concern for some time.
With this in mind, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has recently produced some resources in an effort to improve understanding of competition law.
Previous studies have shown that many SMEs have a limited grasp of how competition laws work in practice, and so the CMA has produced a series of short films, a checklist and a couple of “at a glance” guides, which the organisation hopes will raise awareness of how anti-competitive activity can impact businesses.
Among the main aims of the campaign are to make businesses aware of the possibility that their competitors or suppliers may be breaking the law and advising on steps to prevent staff at their own operation acting unlawfully. While the majority of small businesses are against anti-competitive practices and want to act in accordance with the law, their limited knowledge can pose real problems – as a survey carried out last year revealed.
In the East of England, only 31 per cent of respondents knew that it was unlawful to set the price for re-selling a product and almost half didn’t realise that price-fixing was illegal.
If you are unsure of whether your commercial arrangements comply with competition laws, then do seek legal advice. This is particularly important, as the penalties for breaching competition laws can be prohibitive, with businesses in extreme cases being fined up to 10% of their annual worldwide turnover.
Please note the contents of this blog are given for information only and must not be relied upon. Legal advice should always be sought in relation to specific circumstances.