Tuesday, November 27, 2007

UK - competition law - private remedies

OFT publishes recommendations on private actions in competition law

The OFT has today published recommendations to Government to improve the effectiveness of redress for consumers and businesses that have suffered loss as a result of breaches of competition law. The recommendations follow an informal consultation on an OFT discussion paper published in April.

Infringements of competition law cause significant harm to both consumers and businesses. Recent experience shows that harm to consumers may run into tens of millions of pounds in any given case. However, responses to the consultation have confirmed that consumers and businesses wishing to bring legal proceedings continue to face significant barriers. As a result, their prospects of obtaining redress remain remote and the incentives for business to comply with competition law are more limited than was intended. The OFT recommends that Government consult on a number of proposed measures to make private actions in competition law as effective as the Government's 2001 White Paper, A World Class Competition Regime, intended them to be.

Philip Collins, OFT Chairman, said:

'An effective private actions system will enable consumers and businesses to obtain redress where they have suffered loss as a result of unlawful agreements or conduct. Increasing the incentives of businesses to comply with competition law will stimulate interest in good corporate governance and encourage the development of a competition culture, in which responsible business leaders and boards recognise the benefits of competition in properly functioning, open markets. This will have positive effects on the productivity and competitiveness of the UK economy.'

See also Private actions in competition law: effective redress for consumers and business - recommendations

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