Following the broadband money

Unfair competition? Try this remedy

with 6 comments

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.


Written by Br0kenTeleph0n3

2012/05/03 at 15:56

6 Responses

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  1. “Other key non-monetised benefits by ‘main affected groups’ ”

    “The improvements brought by competition bring a range of longer-term benefits to growth, productivity and innovation, beyond those which can be captured by this analysis. The guarantee of an open competitive marketplace provided by the effective enforcement of competition law through both public and private channels will be attractive to promoting investment in the UK.” page 3 of the impact assessment.

    Wonder if we could do something about all the BDUK money going to BT because small businesses were excluded from tenders? (£100million turnover sort of puts SMEs out of the ball park doesn’t it?)


    2012/05/03 at 16:48

    • I imagine there are quite a few people who believe that the telecoms playing-field is skewed and who perhaps have evidence of it. I do hope to read submissions from Geo and Vtesse as well as all those on BDUK’s long-list as suppliers under it framework.

      Ian Grant

      2012/05/03 at 19:13

      • That would be well cool. Its about time somebody exposed all the sham. Mind you vtesse has tried and failed once, would they be bothered trying again? Its all down time when you can be doing something useful. Not to mention the waste of money.


        2012/05/03 at 19:32

    • Should BDUK money have gone to NextGenUs, one of the most vocal names in the business?


      2012/05/09 at 11:13

      • They weren’t asking for BDUK money AFAIK, so, No.

        Ian Grant

        2012/05/09 at 11:48

  2. ps. And what are Digital region up to?


    2012/05/09 at 11:14

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