In order to ensure that competition is effective and trading is fair in the UK the OFT enforce chapters I and II of the Competition Act 1998, or, if appropriate, Articles 81 and 82 of the EC Treaty. In certain sectors, in addition to the OFT, a number of Regulators (e.g. OFWAT, OFCOM) have concurrent powers.

When the OFT has “reasonable grounds for suspecting” competition law has been breached it can carry out an investigation. This can involve requesting, or obtaining upon entry, specific documents or information. Your responses, or lack of, could result in imprisonment.

We have experience of providing information directly to solicitors and to Regulators in order to clarify the exact circumstances which prompted an investigation, which may be as simple as explaining the factors specific to your sector and the commercial nuances inherent within.

Privileged communications are excluded from the OFT’s powers. Therefore, when FAR Consulting is acting in an in-house consultant capacity, reporting directly to solicitors advising as to whether an infringement has occurred, our advice would also be privileged. This may be of benefit to you when under investigation and who can and who can’t provide detailed accounting advice whilst maintaining privilege is something to consider perhaps before instructing solicitors.

Predatory pricing is one specific tactic used by a dominant firm in order to drive competitors out of the market, or create a barrier to entry into the market for potential new competitors. The predatory pricer then has fewer competitors or even a monopoly, allowing it to raise prices above what the market would otherwise bear.

In such cases we are able to review the evidence on costs in order to:

  • determine whether predation exists; and
  • calculate the losses incurred by the target company as a result of the predatory pricing.