The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has published for consultation two guidance documents that aim to help businesses and company directors comply with competition law.
The first document, How Your Business Can Achieve Compliance, has been developed for businesses and their advisers. It sets out the OFT’s recommended risk-based, four-step process for creating a culture of compliance within a business. The guidance includes a separate quick guide intended to meet the specific needs of small- to medium-sized enterprises, as well as setting out in more detail the practical compliance measures businesses might be able to take.
The second document, Company Directors and Competition Law, explains the level of understanding of competition law that company directors are expected to have and outlines the steps they should be taking to identify and prevent breaches of the law. This will be particularly useful for those who are responsible for the provision of competition law training to board members.
The draft guidance for company directors follows the recent publication of the OFT’s revised guidance on Director Disqualification Orders in competition law cases, which sets out how it intends to use the sanction to deter anti-competitive activity.
The consultation document for businesses can be found at http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/consultations/OFT1278.pdf and the consultation document for company directors at http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/consultations/OFT1277.pdf. Responses must be made by 21 January 2011 with final versions of the guidance due to be published in spring 2011.
If you have concerns about any aspect of competition law, contact John Keeble.