Cartels

Reporting cartel behaviour

A cartel is an illegal agreement between two or more competitors not to compete with each other. The sole purpose of cartels is to make more profit at the expense of their customers. There are different types of cartels:

  • Price fixing: Competitors illegally agree the price for, or discounts on, goods or services.
  • Bid-riggingBid-rigging or collusive tendering involves competitors illegally agreeing on who will win a tender. Collusive tendering may take the form of any or all of the specifically prohibited activities, i.e., by fixing prices, sharing markets or limiting access to goods or services.
  • Market sharing: Competitors illegally agree on which locations each of them can or cannot operate in, or customers to whom they can or cannot sell.
  • Limiting production: Competitors illegally agree to control the amount of goods or services provided, in order to ensure that prices remain high.

How to report a suspected cartel

  • Contact us directly by phone, email or through our website.
  • If you have been involved in cartel activity and want to report it to us, you can avail of our Cartel Immunity Programme. The Programme is a way for a member of a cartel to avoid prosecution, including fines and jail time, if they are the first member to come forward and reveal their involvement in illegal cartel activity before the CCPC has completed any investigation and referred the matter to the DPP.
  • If you want to report suspected cartel activity and wish to remain anonymous, you can use our anonymous whistleblowing system: https://report.whistleb.com/ccpc (copy and paste into a new browser window), further details of which are set out below.

Making an anonymous report

The CCPC offers a secure and confidential service, which is run on a third party platform. It allows members of the public to share information and evidence about illegal cartel behaviour with the CCPC so we can investigate it.

You can help tackle illegal business behaviour by making a confidential report to us using the whistleblowing service. The type of behaviour we want to hear about includes businesses agreeing:

  • on prices, including discounts or margins
  • to divide up markets and not compete against each other in certain areas
  • to limit production in order to make sure prices remain high
  • not to compete on certain tenders and/or who will win a tender for a contract

Cartels are difficult to detect because they are generally conducted in secret. Therefore, investigators rely on information from people who have knowledge of cartels in order to investigate them.

The CCPC recognises that there are situations where someone who has knowledge or specific information about a cartel might be reluctant to report it for fear of negative consequences or reprisals. By using the whistleblowing system you can remain anonymous while helping us to tackle illegal cartel activity.

Your anonymity is protected

The information you provide through the anonymous whistleblowing system cannot be traced back to you, as long as you do not enter any details that identify you. This service allows you to communicate with CCPC staff via an anonymous mailbox.

The tool is designed to ensure the highest possible data security and privacy settings, and it encrypts any data and information provided. It is also regularly tested by external security experts.

To use the anonymous whistleblowing system, copy and paste the following address into a new browser window: https://report.whistleb.com/ccpc

 

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