Competition compliance—United Kingdom—Q&A guide

The following Commercial practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Competition compliance—United Kingdom—Q&A guide
  • 1. What is the general attitude of business and the authorities to competition compliance?
  • 2. Is there a government-approved standard for compliance programmes in your jurisdiction?
  • 3. Is the compliance guidance generally applicable or do best practice and obligations depend on company size and the sector of the economy it operates in?
  • 4. If the company has a competition compliance programme in place, does it have any effect on sanctions?
  • 5. How does a company demonstrate its commitment to competition compliance?
  • 6. What are the key features of a compliance programme regarding risk identification?
  • 7. What are the key features of a compliance programme regarding risk assessment?
  • 8. What are the key features of a compliance programme regarding risk mitigation?
  • 9. What are the key features of a compliance programme regarding review?
  • More...

Competition compliance—United Kingdom—Q&A guide

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to competition compliance in United Kingdom published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: March 2020).

Authors: Winston & Strawn LLP—Peter Crowther; Lisa Hatfield

1. What is the general attitude of business and the authorities to competition compliance?

According to research by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), 77 per cent of businesses still do not understand competition law well, and only 6 per cent of UK businesses run any competition law training at all. This is despite the fact that according to the CMA’s research, 79 per cent of businesses regularly meet with rivals.

The CMA uses a variety of strategies to raise awareness and promote compliance through its activities, which include the publication of a number of guides, blogs and other materials to educate businesses, and sector-based activities.

2. Is there a government-approved standard for compliance programmes in your jurisdiction?

The CMA advocates a risk-based approach to competition law compliance, tailored to the activities of the business in question. Underpinning the approach is a clear and unambiguous ‘top down’ commitment to competition law throughout the business.

The CMA recommends the adoption of a four-stage approach, namely:

  1. identify the key competition law risks;

  2. analyse and evaluate the seriousness of risks;

  3. set up policies and procedures to reduce the likelihood of identified

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