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UK: Up to £100,000 cash rewards for cartel whistleblowers

 |  March 21, 2017

The Competition and Markets Authority, the new central competition regulator, will continue the Office of Fair Trading’s policy of cash rewards for cartel whistleblowers. The little known programme has been in place since 2008 and aims to reward individuals who come forward with inside information on cartel activity such as price fixing or allocating customers between competitors.

Rewards of £100,000 are available to individuals but the full £100,000 will not be awarded in every situation. The CMA, like the OFT, will have discretion to decide the exact figure and will base the calculation on the value of the information with regard to prosecution, the amount of harm the activity is causing the economy and the risk and effort the whistleblower has taken in providing the information.

Whilst whistleblowers can initially come forward anonymously, in order to verify the information and if they should want a reward, they will have to identify themselves to the CMA. The CMA can than protect them if necessary from civil and criminal prosecution by applying for an order under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. Whistleblowers are also protected under other laws from losing their job as a result of whistleblowing.

Crucially, and perhaps most controversially, those directly responsible for cartel activity will not be able to come forward for cash rewards. They can still however obtain immunity from prosecution both for themselves and their company if they come forward.

Full Content: The Construction Index

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