Corporate governance-Competition law OFT publishes new competition law guidance

Corporate governance-Competition law OFT publishes new competition law guidance

On 27 June 2011, the OFT launched new guidance to help businesses comply with competition law. This coincides with publication of the results of independent research, commissioned by the OFT, which shows that business awareness of competition law has grown but has further to go.

The guidance includes the following:

  •     “How your business can achieve compliance”, which is aimed at businesses and their advisors and sets out the OFT’s recommended risk-based, four-step approach to creating a culture of competition law compliance; and
  •     “Company directors and competition law”, which explains the level of competition law understanding expected from directors and outlines the steps which they should take to prevent, detect and stop competition law infringements.

The OFT has also produced a quick guide summary and a film explaining how competition law works in practice. This is aimed primarily at smaller businesses following the survey’s finding that those businesses were less able to identify practices that breach competition law.

Company directors should take heed of the new guidance. The OFT makes clear that, in order to determine the extent of a director's responsibility for infringement of competition law, it will take into account the individual director's level of commitment to competition law compliance and the steps he/she took to prevent, detect and bring to an end infringements by the company.

To access these new guidance materials, visit

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