Welsh lawyers asked to help competition law awareness

October 11, 2016

Lawyers in Wales are being asked to help promote awareness of the new competition law compliance materials to their business clients.

Over 60 law firms headquartered in Wales will be contacted by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), and encouraged to share the CMA’s competition law information with their small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) clients.

Research shows that businesses’ understanding of competition law in the area is low:

  • Only 57% of businesses in Wales knew that price-fixing is illegal.
  • Only 25% of businesses in Wales knew that it’s unlawful to set the price at which others can re-sell their product.
  • Only 12% of businesses in Wales knew that admitting to participation in a cartel can lead to immunity from a penalty.

The information, which is available in Welsh and English, is intended to help SMEs recognise anti-competitive practices, comply with competition law and report suspicions of illegal anti-competitive activity.

Commenting on the initiative, David Went, competition and EU law specialist at Exchange Chambers said:

“This approach is part of the CMA’s ongoing drive to boost awareness of, and compliance with, competition law, following the launch of its competing fairly in business: advice for small businesses materials. As well as contacting lawyers, the CMA will also be meeting with business representatives in order to explain the importance of competition law issues affecting Wales.

“At a time when the CMA has been pursuing competition law breaches by SMEs particularly in the online space, the importance of competition law compliance training should not be underestimated.”