The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is targeting illegal cartels – businesses that collude with each other in order to keep their prices high – in a new advertising campaign.
The CMA’s campaign “Cracking down on Cartels” is asking people who have witnessed illegal activity to report it, by offering a reward of up to £100,000 as well as promising them anonymity.
Cartel colluders are liable to fines of up to 10% of turnover and prison sentences of up to five years. However, under the CMA’s leniency scheme, cartel members that break ranks and are first to confess to the CMA will be given immunity.
CMA acting chief executive Andrea Coscelli said: “Cartels are a form of stealing that cheat ordinary people as well as other businesses by undermining competition, and we are committed to tackling them wherever we find them. Cartels are carried out in secret to make you think you are getting a fair deal, even when you are being conspired against to keep prices high.
“Cartels are both harmful and illegal, and the consequences of breaking the law are extremely serious. That is why we are launching this campaign – to help people understand what cartel activity looks like and how to report it so we can take action.”
CMA’s adverts will appear in social media feeds, such as Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as on certain websites.
To report a cartel: email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0800 085 1664 or 020 3738 6888.