Quick guide to the main rules covering how you compete, how you treat your customers and how you sell.



This guidance was originally published by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and has been adopted by the CMA Board. The original text has been retained unamended, therefore it does not reflect or take account of developments in case law, legislation or practice since its original publication.

Please also note:

  • all references must be read in the light of Consumer Protection: Guidance on the CMA’s approach to use of its consumer powers (CMA7); in the case of conflict, CMA7 prevails
  • references to the OFT or the Competition Commission (CC) (except where referring to specific past OFT or CC practice or case law) should be read as referring to the CMA
  • references to articles of the EC Treaty should be read as referring to the equivalent articles of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union
  • certain OFT or CC departments, teams or individual roles may not be replicated in the CMA, or may have been renamed; the CMA’s structure is set out in our organisation chart
  • do not use any contact details quoted; please go to the home page for details on how to contact the CMA

The fines that could be imposed on summary conviction for certain criminal offences referred to in this document were, at that time, subject to specific caps of £5,000 or above. With effect from 12 March 2015, these caps have been removed and those specific offences are now punishable by a fine of any amount. For more information see the Ministry of Justice news story.