The Competition Act 1998 came into force on 1 March 2000 and prohibits:
Agreements between companies which prevent restrict or distort competition
Conduct that abuses a dominant market position
Ofwat has the power to investigate competition act cases across the water industry and there are severe penalties for non-compliance with the Act. Companies that breach the Act can be fined up to 10% of group turnover for up to three years.
We are required to have a Compliance Code governing our dealings with Licensed Water Suppliers (LWS), under condition R of our Instrument of Appointment. The code must comply with guidance published by Ofwat.
Companies are responsible for complying with the Competition Act. We have to ensure that there is a level playing field in the new non-household market and that all competitors are dealt with in an equivalent way. Many of the issues addressed in the guidance are common under competition law to our dealings with inset appointees. Anglian Water applies the same principles to dealings with competitors and ensure that they are handled in a manner that avoids any risk (or perception) of anti-competitive behaviour.