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The OFT closed on 31 March 2014 and this website is no longer being updated. The OFT's work and responsibilities have passed to a number of different bodies. Read more.


An introduction to the OFT's work against cartels.

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Cartels are a particularly damaging form of anti-competitive behaviour - taking action against them is one of the OFT's priorities. Businesses as well as consumers could be a victim of a cartel.

Under the Competition Act 1998 and Article 101 of the EC Treaty, cartels are prohibited. Any business found to be a member of a cartel could be fined up to 10 per cent of its worldwide turnover. In addition, the Enterprise Act 2002 makes it a criminal offence for individuals to dishonestly take part in the most serious types of cartels. Anyone convicted of the offence could receive a maximum of five years imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine.

However, if a business ends its involvement and informs the OFT, it could be granted immunity from criminal prosecution under the Enterprise Act 2002, or immunity or a reduction in any fine that could be imposed by the OFT under the Competition Act and Article 101.

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Further information

See details on our cartel procedures and information on our:

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