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Competition watchdog’s open letter to the creative industries

12 September 2017

The UK’s Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has published an open letter to the creative industries on competition law. The letter reminds businesses that certain conduct that undermines competition in those industries is illegal.

Helpfully, the CMA specifically recognises the huge importance of the creative industries to the UK economy. However, the UK’s competition watchdog then refers to a recent investigation in the creative sector as an example of where businesses can get things wrong.

While the rules are the same no matter what industry you are in, the CMA states that its research shows that “knowledge and understanding of competition law is particularly low in the creative sector”. It therefore recommends that businesses should be training their staff on what they can and cannot do, particularly in relation to their dealings with competitors. The CMA also reminds businesses that might discover that they have done something illegal that they can seek leniency by being the first to confess to the CMA.

The CMA specifically warns businesses against colluding with their competitors on prices, agreeing to divide up and share markets, bid rigging (particularly in relation to tender processes) and information sharing. If your business would benefit from training on this, or you think that it may have been involved in one of these practices, please get in touch.

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