For example, a company may refuse to deliver to a particular customer on the basis of its poor credit quality, which would be tantamount to protecting legitimate business interests and therefore does not constitute abusive behaviour within the meaning of Chapter II or Section 102. Only if such behaviour goes beyond what is necessary to protect the interests of business could this be an abuse. Unlike practices that are subject to strict prohibitions, such as cartels and the introduction of minimum resale prices, concerted practices are prohibited only if they significantly restrict competition in a market. Competitors` conduct with respect to cartels and abuse of dominance is the most serious form of anti-competitive behaviour under Chapter I or Section 101, which is the highest. A “hardcore” cartel is a cartel that includes price fixing, market sharing, supply manipulation or limiting the supply or production of goods or services. Persons prosecuted for cartels in the United Kingdom may be subject to imprisonment of up to five years and/or an unlimited fine. An effect is considered important or significant in relation to the size of the market. The question here is what would be described as anti-competitive. Section 3, paragraph 2, of the Act states that the main determinant of an anti-competitive agreement is its AAEC within India.
It is essential that Article 32 of the Act provides that even if an agreement had been reached outside India, the ICC would be entitled to request such an agreement if such an agreement had an AAEC in India. Companies in agreements that control prices or divide markets are protected from competitive pressures to bring new products to market, improve quality and keep prices low. In the end, consumers pay more for lower quality. The law is intended to prevent the practices of parties with AACEs in India. This can guarantee free trade and would protect the interests of all parties, including consumers. However, such an objective would only be achieved if the commercial parties complied with the principles set out in the legislation. It is important that the parties monitor the maintenance of anti-competitive elements in the agreements reached between them during their activities in India. Companies should proactively and thoroughly identify existing anti-competitive elements of their current agreements. Staff can be trained to understand the effects of anti-competitive agreements and understand how they can avoid doing so. If necessary, individuals and businesses can always consult experts who can lead them to a safer option. It is important to consider both what is actually said and what each party considers to be the position. Anti-competitive practices that could affect trade within the United Kingdom are prohibited in Chapters I and II of the Competition Act 1998.
Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFUE) also prohibit anti-competitive practices that could affect trade between EU Member States. EU rules will no longer come into force in the UK from 1 January 2021, but UK companies with cross-border activities within the EU remain subject to EU competition law with respect to these activities and national competition law in EU Member States.