UK: FCA launches probe into anti-competitive practices

The UK’s financial watchdog has launched its first probe into anti-competitive practices, with the prospect of swingeing fines for any errant companies.

An oblique reference was made to the opening of the Financial Conduct Authority’s first enforcement investigation using its competition powers, which it inherited a year ago, in a recent speech. Under those powers, the watchdog can fine a company as much as 10 per cent of worldwide turnover if it finds breaches in competition law, which can include monopolistic behaviour or price-fixing.

“For the last year, we have been talking about enforcement cases in the future tense. Very recently, that has changed and I can now confirm that we are taking active steps towards the opening of Competition Act investigation,” said Deb Jones, FCA head of competition, in a speech last month. “I hope it sends a signal that we take competition law seriously alongside other regulatory enforcement.”

Full Content: Financial Times

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