Chairman of the OFT gives speech on sanctions, redress and compliance

The Chairman of the OFT, Philip Collins, gave a speech at King’s College, London, on 27 June 2011 on a number of interrelated issues at the core of a successful competition regime – sanctions, redress and compliance.  

Mr Collins discussed the recent judgments of the Competition Appeals Tribunal (the CAT) in Construction and Construction Recruitment Forum, which (in broad terms) resulted in significant reductions to the fines imposed by the OFT. Mr Collins outlined that, while these cases highlight the different approaches that can arise, the CAT does not seem to rule out higher penalties for infringements in the future and the judgments have not altered the OFT’s view on the level of penalties that are required to create a deterrent effect (both general and specific). Mr Collins believes the OFT can therefore address the CAT judgments principally by revising its guidance on fines, rather than by fundamentally changing its current approach.