The Office of Fair Trading is urging small businesses to blow the whistle on cartels as part of its 'Come Clean on Cartels' campaign this month.
The OFT's leniency programme will allow firms involved in anti-competitive practices to tell the OFT and gain partial or full immunity from fines.
Philip Collins, OFT chairman, said: 'We want to urge businesses, especially SMEs, to make a clean break with any anti-competitive agreements they may be involved in. Such activities are illegal, and can result in a fine of up to 10 per cent of turnover of a business, or even a prison sentence in the most serious cases.'
Research carried out by the organisation showed that a quarter of SMEs felt they had been the victim of anti-competitive practices, with one-third aware of it in their sector.
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