The UK Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has issued an overview of competition law and steps that companies can take to comply with competition law. This advice was issued in response to the results of a survey carried out on behalf of the OFT, in which a sizable minority of the 2,000 businesses questioned claimed that they have not taken action to ensure compliance with competition law. The OFT's advice includes a four-step plan to achieving competition law compliance, and is accompanied by a short film depicting a dawn raid.
Highlights of the OFT's written advice include the following:
- Members of the Board and senior management should take responsibility for ensuring that firms do not operate anti-competitive practices
- Managers should monitor work processes, including how employees interact with competitors, if they have access to rivals' price or business plans, and whether the company has agreements with competitors that could allow unlawful practices to develop
- Managers should also introduce new policies, ways of working and training to reduce the chance of unlawful anti-competitive activity occurring
- Businesses should review their processes for identifying and counteracting anti-competitive risks.
This guidance underscores the importance that companies operating in Europe establish effective competition compliance programmes.
The OFT's "Quick Guide to Competition Law Compliance" is available here.