Supply of precast concrete drainage products: criminal investigation

The CMA investigated suspected cartel activity in the supply of products to the construction industry.

Case reference: CE/9705/12

Update 15 September 2017

Having pleaded guilty to one count under section 188 of the Enterprise Act 2002, the criminal cartel offence, Barry Kenneth Cooper was today sentenced to 2 years’ imprisonment suspended for 2 years and made the subject of a 6 month curfew order from 6pm to 6am. He was also disqualified from acting as a company director for 7 years.

Mr Cooper was arrested in 2013 at the start of an investigation begun by the CMA’s predecessor, the Office of Fair Trading.

Update 13 June 2017

Following a thorough investigation, the CMA has determined not to charge any further individuals with the criminal cartel offence under section 188 of the Enterprise Act 2002. This decision was reached after applying the Code for Crown Prosecutors and concluding that the evidential limb of the full code test had not been met in relation to any other individuals. The criminal proceedings in relation to Barry Kenneth Cooper remain ongoing and it is inappropriate to comment further at this time.

The CMA’s related civil investigation into whether businesses have infringed the Competition Act 1998 remains ongoing. No assumption should be made at this stage as to whether the Competition Act has been infringed.

Update 21 March 2016

At a Pre-Trial Preparatory Hearing on 21 March 2016, at Southwark Crown Court, Barry Kenneth Cooper pleaded guilty to one count under section 188 of the Enterprise Act 2002, the criminal cartel offence.

Summary of work

7 March 2016: This has been updated having regard to reporting restrictions under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.

On 7 March 2016, the CMA confirmed that it had commenced criminal proceedings against one individual under section 188 of the Enterprise Act 2002, the criminal cartel offence, following an investigation into suspected cartel conduct in respect of the supply of precast concrete drainage products.

No assumption should be made at this stage that any criminal offences have been committed.

The CMA is conducting a related civil investigation into whether businesses have infringed the Competition Act 1998. No assumption should be made at this stage that the Competition Act has been infringed.

Contacts

Team leader

Sean McNabb (sean.mcnabb@cma.gsi.gov.uk)

Senior responsible officer

Michael Grenfell (michael.grenfell@cma.gsi.gov.uk)

Media enquiries

Any media enquiries should be directed to a member of our Press Office

Published 7 March 2016
Last updated 15 September 2017 + show all updates
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