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.