Counting the cost of breaking competition law: The OFT increases penalties

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is increasing the stakes for breaching competition law with harsher penalties. Under the new guidelines, the starting point for calculating fines has increased from 10 per cent to 30 per cent of company turnover in the relevant market.

The method for calculating fines for serious infringements – such as cartels and abuse of a dominant position – has been overhauled to reflect the duration and the severity of the breach, in a further effort to deter infringement.

As a nod to the difficulties faced by companies in these times of financial hardship, the new guidelines do also provide a little more flexibility to take into account inability to pay…

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