Find out what constitutes a cartel, how to complain about one, and how a business could be granted immunity from prosecution if they inform the OFT of their involvement.
Cartels are a particularly damaging form of anti-competitive behaviour - taking action against them is one of the OFT's priorities. As a business, you could be a victim of a cartel or you could be breaking the law. Either way, it is vital that you know how cartels can affect you and your business.
Under the Competition Act 1998 and Article 101 TFEU of the EC Treaty, cartels are prohibited. Any business found to be a member of a cartel could be fined up to 10 per cent of its worldwide turnover. In addition, the Enterprise Act 2002 makes it a criminal offence for individuals to dishonestly take part in the most serious types of cartels. Anyone convicted of the offence could receive a maximum of five years imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine.
However, if you end your involvement and confess to the OFT, you could be granted immunity from criminal prosecution under the Enterprise Act 2002, or immunity or a reduction in any fine that could be imposed by the OFT under the Competition Act and Article 101 TFEU.
The OFT also operates a rewards policy under which it will pay financial incentives of up to £100,000 in return for information which helps it to identify and take action against illegal cartels.
Back to: Competition Act and cartels