On 26 April 2019 the CMA announced that it had secured the disqualification of two directors of CPM Group Limited, one of the suppliers involved in a cartel for pre-cast concrete drainage products.
Both CPM Group and Stanton Bonna Limited admitted participating in the alleged cartel and agreed to pay fines, which the CMA will determine at a later date. We originally reported on that case here.
The directors involved have now been prohibited from being involved in the management of any company for seven and a half years and six and a half years respectively. Further directors, and a third alleged cartelist company, remain under investigation.
This latest news comes just weeks after the CMA accused six key suppliers to the construction sector of anti-competitive behaviour, following two separate investigations into the groundworks and roofing material industries.
As our recent update on those cases sets out, the construction sector has particular issues with competition law compliance, but the sector as a whole lacks a firm understanding and awareness of competition rules. A number of breaches have been uncovered when an employee has suddenly realised they were acting unlawfully, allowing their firm to avoid liability by blowing the whistle.
Construction businesses are exposed to competition risks whether they know it or not, and need to be aware of both the law and the potentially significant consequences of a breach. Proactive compliance steps are essential to managing these risks and avoiding serious penalties.