Recent investigations by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has resulted in the disqualification of two company directors due to their involvement in a cartel.
The CMA secured the ban after investigators discovered that two materials suppliers had been involved in price-fixing meetings for seven years from 2006. The two former directors of CPM Group Ltd were disqualified following CPM’s admission that it breached competition law.
Mr Philip Michael Stacey and Mr Robert James Taylor Smillie were directors at CPM throughout the period of the alleged cartel activity, during which time the company was one of the leading players in the market. The CMA has secured legally binding undertakings from these former directors, which disqualify them as directors and prevent them from being involved in the management of any company based in England, Scotland and Wales.
Following on swiftly from CMA investigations and fines imposed on certain companies in the the fit-out sector, this is a timely reminder for all in construction. This type of practice still goes on, but is completely at odds with FIS values and how we support the supply chain and encourage best practice, so it is good to see the CMA finally taking action and stamping out problems. Contrary to common wisdom, there is not a thin line between collaboration and collusion, there is a vast chasm of difference and a modern construction industry must understand and manage this. The 21st Century is the age of collaboration, but it also the age of transparency and it is fast becoming clear there are few places to hide if you have been trying to game the system”Iain McIlwee, FIS chief executive
To raise the level of awareness within firms about competition law and the rules with which firms have to comply, the CMA has launched a package of materials to help business. This includes:
- a quick guide on how to avoid disqualification
- a checklist on how to comply with competition law
- a #StopCartels campaign page https://stopcartels.campaign.gov.uk/ that houses:
- an interactive quiz to test knowledge of the law and what is/ isn’t permitted
- case studies with lessons learnt and information
- reporting form and info on immunity from fines under our leniency programme.