The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has recently accused six key suppliers to the construction sector of anti-competitive behaviour.
Following two investigations into the groundworks and roofing material industries, it also alleges that the UK’s three largest suppliers of rolled lead colluded on prices, allocated customers between them and exchanged commercially sensitive information.
In all cases, the accused firms now have an opportunity to respond to the allegations before the CMA reaches a final decision.
The regulator has issued millions of pounds in penalties over cartels, including imposing fines of £7m in March on five companies that design and fit out offices. It said recently it had found “a lot of evidence of anti-competitive conduct in the construction industry”.
“It is crucial that builders and their customers benefit from genuinely competitive pricing for this essential equipment,” said Michael Grenfell, the CMA’s executive director for enforcement.
“Everyone must follow competition law, which protects customers from being exploited and paying more, as well as encouraging companies to compete for business in other ways – through innovation, quality and service."
For more information on cartels and non-competitive behaviour visit www.gov.uk/stopcartels for:
· Short videos that explain what cartels are and how to report them
· Case studies of other businesses who broke the law
· An online quiz: test how much you know about competition law and cartels
· A cartel checker so you can understand whether information you have relates to a cartel and should be reported