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CMA issues strong warning as information sharing fine is upheld

Thursday 19 October 2017

CMA issues strong warning as information sharing fine is upheld

   

The Competition and Markets Authority (‘CMA’) has found that Balmoral, a supplier of galvanised steel water tanks, along with 3 other businesses, had broken competition law by taking part in an exchange of competitively-sensitive information on prices and pricing intentions. This case raises some valuable lessons for all businesses around information sharing with competitors and conduct in meetings when conversation crosses the legal line.

 What is particularly interesting about this case is that even though the business whose fine of £130,000 was upheld wasn’t actively involved in the illegal cartel – the fact that the business shared sensitive information in a meeting with rivals (which was covertly recorded by the CMA) was enough to merit the CMA investigating and fining them.  This case also highlights important lessons around how businesses should conduct themselves if they find themselves in a meeting where talk crosses the legal line.

The lessons from the latest case apply to all levels of business.  CMA advice includes:

The CMA is cracking down on cartels across all sectors. Any company that is approached to join a cartel or other anti-competitive arrangement should immediately and unequivocally reject the approach and avoid taking part in any exchange of commercially sensitive information, or risk breaking the law.




The Competition and Markets Authority (‘CMA’) has found that Balmoral, a supplier of galvanised steel water tanks, along with 3 other businesses, had broken competition law by taking part in an exchange of competitively-sensitive information on prices and pricing intentions. This case raises some valuable lessons for all businesses around information sharing with competitors and conduct in meetings when conversation crosses the legal line.