In addition to our own research and market intelligence, the OFT relies on complaints to help us in enforcing competition law. If you suspect that a competitor, supplier, customer or any other business is infringing the law, you may contact us with your concerns.
For further information as to potential grounds for a complaint and what happens to a complaint once we receive it, including confidentiality, see our publication Competing Fairly.
Please call us on 08457 22 44 99 before making a complaint. We will be able to advise you on whether the matter is likely to raise any competition issues and, if it is, the kind of information you should provide us with when submitting your complaint.
We usually expect complaints to be made in writing, giving as much factual information as possible, to enable us to carry out an initial assessment of your complaint as quickly as we can. However, complaints regarding suspected cartels should be made over the telephone by calling our cartel hotline on 020 7211 8888.
See the guideline Involving third parties in Competition Act investigations for details of the information the OFT will look for in support of a complaint. Where the OFT takes a case forward, in certain circumstances we will provide complainants with a formal and structured opportunity to comment on our provisional findings before the conclusion of an investigation.
The OFT cannot investigate all the complaints that it receives. If a complaint leads us to have reasonable grounds to suspect that the competition laws have been infringed, we may conduct an investigation where this fits within our administrative priorities.
In October 2006, the OFT published its updated competition prioritisation criteria, which we use to assess which cases should be taken up for investigation.
Potential complainants should be aware that the OFT cannot investigate all the complaints that it receives. Before submitting a complaint to the OFT, a complainant may wish to seek independent legal advice. The Competition Pro Bono Scheme is one such option, offering some free legal advice to individuals and businesses who believe that their rights under competition law have been infringed or who are concerned that they may be infringing.
Visit the Competition Pro Bono Scheme website. Please note: by providing this link, the OFT should not be seen to be endorsing the Pro Bono Scheme, the member advisers or the advice provided.
For further information on making complaints, see our publication Competing Fairly, the OFT guideline Involving third parties in Competition Act investigations and our competition prioritisation criteria.
Back to: Competition Act 1998