Two UK construction firms have been fined a total of £9.5m for forming a cartel for the supply of roofing material.
Associated Lead Mills (ALM) and H.J. Enthoven (trading as BLM British Lead), two of the UK's largest suppliers of rolled lead, were fined £1.5m and £8m respectively after admitting collusion.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said: “This included breaking the law four times by colluding on prices, sharing the rolled lead market by arranging not to target certain customers, and arranging not to supply a new business because it risked disrupting the firms’ existing customer relationships”.
The offences took place between 2015 and 2017.
Three directors in charge during the time of cartel activity – Jocelyn Campbell from BLM, and Graham Hudson and Maurice Sherling from ALM – have been disqualified from directorships for between three and six-and-a-half years.
“Mr Campbell also sought to conceal his communications with competitor businesses by using a different mobile phone from his main one,” said the CMA.
Michael Grenfell, executive director of enforcement at the CMA, said: “It’s an important responsibility of company directors to ensure that their companies don’t engage in illegal anti-competitive practices, which can lead to higher prices for customers.
“The CMA has clear evidence that these directors either knowingly entered into illegal arrangements and communications, or were aware of them and did nothing to stop them. That’s why these measures are needed. This should be a message to all directors – if your company breaches competition law, you risk personal disqualification.”
☛ Want to stay up to date with the news? Sign up to our daily bulletin.