Policy paper

UK government response to European Commission green paper on unfair trading practices in the business to business supply chain

Describes the UK regime for combating unfair trade practices in this supply chain and responds to questions asked in the green paper.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government



In its response to the European Commission’s green paper the UK government sets out the current approach in the UK, refers to proposals for further reforms and responds to 25 specific questions asked in the green paper.

The UK regime for combating business to business unfair trading practices (utps) (where there is no abuse of a dominant position under competition law) broadly consists of 2 main elements:

  • common law of contract and statutory unfair contract terms law in the UK ensures that there is a framework of fairness within which business should operate

  • utps which result in markets not working properly may be investigated by the competition authorities or by sectoral regulators (using their ‘markets’ powers rather than competition powers) and remedies introduced in order to make markets work better

Published 17 June 2013