Unfair competition? Try this remedy
I should have spotted this earlier – sorry, folks.
Vince Cable’s department (BIS) is looking to reform the competition law to make it easier for small business to challenge anti-competitive behaviour and to sue for damages they have suffered as a result of such behaviour.
The consultation opened on 24 April 2012 and will close on 24 July 2012.
BIS says a strong competition regime is fundamental to growth in the UK economy, to investment and innovation and ensure that consumers get the best deal possible.
Part of a reform package, the proposals in the consultation have two aims:
- to increase growth by empowering small businesses to tackle anti-competitive behaviour that is stifling their business, and
- to promote fairness by enabling consumers and businesses who have suffered loss due to anti-competitive behaviour to obtain redress.
The impact assessment that accompanies the consultation says cartels in the EU force up prices by between 28% and 54%.
“The process of pursuing (anticompetitive behaviour) cases through private actions is costly and complex,” BIS says. “This is particularly true as competition cases may involve very large sums but be divided across many businesses or consumers, each of whom can only claim a small amount.
“This means that most anti-competitive behaviour does not lead to private actions seeking redress: in 2005-8 there were only 27 cases resulting in judgements, and most OFT findings of infringements were not followed by private actions.”
You can download the consultation from the BIS consulttions website or by following the links above.