Whistleblowers offered £100k as CMA launches campaign to crack down on cartels

Whistleblowers are being offered up to £100,000 by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) for exposing price-fixing in construction.

As part of its first-ever advertising campaign, the CMA is targeting illegal cartels – businesses which cheat their customers by agreeing not to compete with each other in order to keep their prices high.

The “Cracking down on Cartels” campaign will encourage people who have witnessed illegal activity to report it, by offering a reward of up to £100,000 as well as promising them anonymity.

If found guilty of illegal collusion, firms can face prison sentences of up to five years and penalties of up to 10 per cent of their total turnover.

Andrea Coscelli, acting chief executive, said: “Cartels are a form of stealing that cheat ordinary people as well as other businesses by undermining competition, and we are committed to tackling them wherever we find them.

"Cartels are carried out in secret to make you think you are getting a fair deal, even when you are being conspired against to keep prices high.

“Cartels are both harmful and illegal, and the consequences of breaking the law are extremely serious. That is why we are launching this campaign – to help people understand what cartel activity looks like and how to report it so we can take action.”

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