OFT consults on guidance for businesses and directors on competition compliance

On 19 October the OFT published for public consultation two complementary draft guidance documents that address competition law compliance. The first, 'How Your Business Can Achieve Compliance', aims to provide businesses with tangible advice on how to achieve competition law compliance and has been developed using research from the OFT’s 'Drivers of Compliance and Non-compliance with Competition Law' report, published in May 2010.

'How Your Business Can Achieve Compliance' explains both the benefits of competition law compliance and the penalties for infringement, and explains how a four stage risk-based approach to compliance, previously adopted in the May 2010 report, could be implemented within a business to reduce the risk of an infringement. The annex to 'How Your Business Can Achieve Compliance' contains a practical, user friendly ‘Quick Guide’ to competition law, explaining the basics of competition law and what businesses should be alert to and recognise as indicators of potential competition law infringements.

The second draft guidance document published by the OFT, 'Company Directors and Competition Law', follows requests for further guidance received by the OFT during the public consultation (in June 2010) on 'Director Disqualification Orders In Competition Cases'.

'Company Directors and Competition Law' provides practical advice on the level of competition law knowledge that a director is reasonably expected to have and what steps a director can reasonably be expected to take in terms of the detection and prevention of competition law infringements. The guidance considers small and large businesses, executive and non-executive directors and compliance directors. The consultation period for both documents is open until 21 January 2011.