Guide

Competing fairly

Leniency for cartel information

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) offers lenient treatment to businesses and individuals who report their role in cartel activity. Businesses who have been found guilty of cartel activity but who fully cooperate with the CMA may have their fine reduced or avoid a penalty altogether.

If you’ve been directly involved, the CMA encourages you to come forward first to get leniency. Call the CMA cartels hotline on Tel: 020 3738 6833.  It can provide confidential guidance.

Leniency could mean avoiding fines of up to 10% of your business’s global turnover, being disqualified as a director or even going to prison.

To qualify for leniency, you must admit  your role in unlawful cartel activity and stop taking part in the cartel straight away You must co-operate fully with the CMA's investigation.  The first business to report a cartel may qualify to be safe from fines. Its current or former employees who cooperate with the CMA's investigation may also be safe from prosecution for the cartel offence. This is more likely if the cartel is one which the CMA is not already aware of.

The CMA may grant protection from prosecution to people who come forward with information about their involvement in a criminal cartel offence in the form of a 'no-action letter'.

Find further information on confessing to cartel involvement and applying for leniency