The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) have today updated their website with a press-release regarding their investigation into alleged anti-competitive behaviour amongst the 3 major manufacturers of rolled lead sheet for the UK: ALM, BLM and Calder.
The CMA’s investigation has been ongoing for several years. They initially alleged that the parties had committed a ‘single and continuous infringement’ by sharing the market between them over several years. However, based on ALM’s representations that this was entirely unfounded, the CMA dropped this allegation.
Instead, the CMA has provisionally found four ‘stand-alone’ infringements of competition law relating to isolated, rather than continuing, incidents, which ALM has accepted. All four of the incidents are historical, having occurred in the period between October 2015 and April 2017. Three of the four incidents concerned isolated communications containing sensitive information. The fourth incident related to ALM’s decision not to supply a potential competitor. BLM has also admitted to its role in these events.
As explained in the CMA’s press release, ALM and BLM have agreed to pay penalties to the CMA in respect of the historic infringements. The maximum penalty that ALM has been ordered to pay is considerably lower than the amount that BLM has been ordered to pay. Calder has indicated that it intends to challenge the CMA’s provisional findings.