It may sound like a good idea on paper not to have to fight for business amongst rivals, but in actual fact it’s bad for everyone, including the businesses involved.
I’m Georgina Laverack, Assistant Director at the Competition and Markets Authority and in this mini-series of blogs we’ll be simplifying some complex issues covering:
- Why anti-competitive behaviour is bad for business
- The consequences of breaking competition law
- Why anti-competitive behaviour is bad for everyone
- The red flags to look out for at work
- Specific cartel behaviours to look out for in everyday life
This week we’ll be covering 5 reasons anti-competitive behaviours are bad for everyone.
If you suspect a business is engaging in anti-competitive behaviour by colluding with its rivals (sometimes described as acting like a business cartel), you might think it’s not your problem. You may not be getting directly ripped off, so is it any of your concern what they do?
Anti-competitive behaviour is bad news for all of us – and here’s why.
1. Prices are kept artificially high
This could mean everyone pays more than they should for goods and services. It can also mean the public sector has to pay more than it should for things such as facilities for hospitals or schools – and as a taxpayer, that’s your money being wasted.
2. Customers don’t have a real choice
Colluding businesses deprive their customers of getting a fair deal.
3. Businesses can’t compete on a level playing field
Businesses that aren’t colluding can’t compete with those who are. Newer or smaller companies might be locked out, meaning we miss out on the new ideas and efficiencies they might have offered.
4. Lack of innovation
Being innovative can be expensive. Businesses competing fairly may choose to make this investment as it might give them the edge. But businesses that are colluding have little motivation to innovate to offer a better product or service – and that’s bad news for all of us.
5. Whole industries can suffer a negative impact
Anti-competitive behaviours can damage the reputation of entire industries, affecting jobs and status, both at home and abroad.
If you've seen anti-competitive behaviour, report it.
For a more in-depth look at the topics raised in this blog, go to our dedicated cartels webpage.