Failure and Success
In 2004, writing with Susan Nash, I published the first book to deal with the UK’s new Cartel Offence, set out in the Enterprise Act 2002. At that time, when there had not yet been any enforcement of the new law, we looked forward to an effective regime, and anticipated, following the Penrose Report, that there would be a significant number of cases. This book, for which I bear sole responsibility, is probably the last to be written dealing with the first phase of the Cartel Offence, and looks back on the operation of the regime over the intervening years with despair, and looks forward with pessimism to the immediate future. The cut-off date for inclusion in material in this book is April 1, 2012, by which time the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (‘BIS’) had published the Government response to a consultation exercise looking at various aspects of the UK competition law regime, including the operation of the Cartel Offence. The consultation exercise, and its result, is dealt with in Chapters 4 and 7 of this book. In essence, the Cartel Offence has given rise to convictions only in respect of three persons, in relation to a single cartel. In that case enforcement was driven by the United States’ authorities, and the UK convictions were secured on the back of a US plea agreement (this case is discussed in detail in Chapters 4 and 6). While more general failings in the work of the Office of Fair Trading...