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OFT guidelines on tougher penalties for breaches of competition law

Posted: 10th October 2012   In: Dispute Resolution

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has issued new guidelines explaining how it will set tougher penalties for breaches of competition law.

The maximum starting point for penalty calculations will increase from 10% of relevant turnover to 30%.

The OFT says the change gives it the ability to set penalties which better reflect the gravity of different types of infringements, in particular for the most serious breaches of competition law, such as cartel activity and abuses of a dominant position.

It brings the OFT in line with the approach of the European Commission and many European competition authorities.

Other changes to the guidance clarify how penalties are calculated. They include:

Jackie Holland, Senior Director of OFT's Policy Group, said: ”We now have a wider range of starting points for penalties, in order to reflect better the seriousness of different types of infringements and deter anti-competitive activities, while ensuring that penalties are fair and proportionate.”

Please contact Neil O’Callaghan about the issues raised in this article, or any aspect of competition law.