Why Competition Law Matters to Businesses.

Competition is an essential part of every-day business. But how much do businesses really know when it comes to “competing fairly”? Do they realise that certain activities can be illegal, and more often than not, they might be the ones losing out because others are breaking the law?
‘Competition law compliance’ – three words guaranteed to cause most business owners to roll their eyes and turn their attention to things more interesting. Which might include their quarterly paper clip audit.

But suggest they might be being cheated by a supplier, or that a competitor might be getting business unfairly and you’re guaranteed businesses’ undivided attention. In spades.

Competition law exists to protect businesses and consumers from other businesses which are competing unfairly – cheating.

But talk about ‘compliance’ and businesses think about restrictive red tape rather than the ability to have a fair crack at running their business successfully. In the South West, for example, only 4% of businesses have run training sessions on competition law.

Being able to compete for business fairly and being charged competitive prices by suppliers is hugely relevant to businesses. Simple and effective compliance activity helps ensure fair competition and a level playing field for all.

The Competition and Markets Authority, the competition watchdog, has developed short, simple online materials to help businesses understand why competition law matters.

Animated films, a quiz, case studies and one page guides explain the main types of anti-competitive behaviour and why they’re unfair to businesses and consumers. They also explain the serious penalties for anti-competitive, illegal activity and how you can report it.

The CMA wants to help businesses to be competitive by recognising when other businesses (suppliers or competitors) are acting unfairly and illegally, encouraging them to report it and to stay on the right side of the law themselves.

While counting paper clips has its benefits, its competition that makes businesses successful.

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Written by: Competition And Markets Authority
We work to promote competition for the benefit of consumers, both within and outside the UK. Our aim is to make markets work well for consumers, businesses and the economy.
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