Cartels: What you don't know can hurt you

Transcript

Like any business owner,

you want to grow your company and make a profit.

But there are many hazards to watch out for, like cartels.

A cartel is a group of independent businesses

that agree to engage in anti-competitive activities

like fixing prices, allocating customers or markets,

restricting production or rigging bids.

Cartels are harmful and illegal because they lead to

higher prices, decreased product choice

and less innovation.

They can be big or small,

with various degrees of formality and secrecy

from a loose arrangement made over dinner

to highly structured agreements

with exclusive membership rules.

In fact, you might be taking part in illegal behaviour

and not even know it!

Say you and another company are bidding for the same work.

You agree to drop your bid or raise your prices

so the other guy wins the contract.

Or maybe you and a competitor agree not to expand

into each other's markets,

ensuring both sides remain profitable.

Many business owners aren't aware

that these kinds of agreements

are illegal under the Competition Act

and can result in fines, jail time or both.

If you think you're involved in a cartel but are worried

about the consequences of disclosing your actions

there are advantages to talking to the Competition Bureau.

For instance, you may be granted immunity from prosecution

if you're the first to tell us about your cartel's activities.

If others have already come forward, you may

receive lenient treatment by sharing what you know.

And if you're not directly involved in a cartel,

you can still provide information to us

as a whistleblower, confidentially if requested.

What you don't know about cartels can hurt you.

Visit our website today

to learn more about the tools and programs available

to help protect you and your business.

Video length: 2 minutes, 38 seconds

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