Competition – press release

Man charged in CMA criminal cartel investigation

A man appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court today to face a charge under section 188 of the Enterprise Act 2002, the criminal cartel offence.

Barry Kenneth Cooper was summoned to appear at the Magistrates Court following an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Mr Cooper has been charged with dishonestly agreeing with others to divide supply, fix prices and divide customers between 2006 and 2013 in respect of the supply in the UK of precast concrete drainage products. The alleged arrangements related to the businesses Stanton Bonna (UK) Ltd, FP McCann Ltd, CPM Group Ltd and Milton Pipes Ltd.

Mr Cooper is due to appear at Southwark Crown Court on 4 April for a Plea and Trial Preparation Hearing.

Crime and Disorder Act 1998 reporting restrictions apply and the CMA is unable to publish further details at this stage.

Case information is also on the CMA’s case page.

Notes for editors

  1. Under section 188 of the Enterprise Act 2002 it is a criminal offence for individuals dishonestly to agree to make or implement, or to cause to be made or implemented, arrangements which constitute certain types of cartel activity, namely price-fixing, limiting or preventing supply or production, market-sharing and bid-rigging. Individuals convicted of the cartel offence may be sentenced to up to five years’ imprisonment and/ or a fine (no maximum) or both.
  2. No assumption should be made at this stage that a criminal offence has been committed.
  3. Anyone who has information about a cartel is asked to call the CMA cartels hotline on 0800 085 1664 or email Under the CMA’s leniency policy a business that has been involved in a cartel may – in certain defined circumstances – be granted immunity from penalties or a significant reduction in penalty in return for reporting certain categories of Competition Act 1998 infringements and assisting the CMA with its investigation. Individuals involved in cartel activity may also in certain defined circumstances be granted immunity from criminal prosecution for the cartel offence under the Enterprise Act 2002. The CMA also operates a rewards policy under which it may pay a financial reward of up to £100,000 in return for information which helps it to identify and take action against illegal cartels.
  4. The CMA is the UK’s primary competition and consumer authority. It is an independent non-ministerial government department with responsibility for carrying out investigations into mergers, markets and the regulated industries and enforcing competition and consumer law. From 1 April 2014 it took over the functions of the Competition Commission and the competition and certain consumer functions of the Office of Fair Trading, as amended by the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 (ERRA).
  5. For CMA updates, follow us on Twitter @CMAgovuk, Flickr and LinkedIn
  6. Enquiries should be directed to Rory Taylor (, 020 3738 6798).