The Commerce Act prohibits anti-competitive agreements between businesses, such as agreements to fix prices or to carve up markets. It also makes it illegal for businesses to abuse a dominant market position.

Anti-competitive behaviour is bad for consumers and businesses as they can end up paying higher prices or having reduced choice of goods or services.

What is illegal?

The Commerce Act prohibits:

  • agreements that substantially lessen competition in a market
  • agreements that fix, maintain or control prices (also known as cartel conduct)
  • agreements that restrict output or capacity, or allocate markets or customers
  • a person or business taking advantage of their dominant position in a market for an anti-competitive purpose
  • a person or business specifying a minimum price at which its goods or services can be sold by another (also known as resale price maintenance).

What can the Commission do?

We can investigate complaints or issues that come to our attention. If, as a result of an investigation, we believe the Commerce Act has been breached we can take a range of actions. This might include educating a business about how to comply with the Act, issuing a warning, or prosecuting a business or person in Court.

Report anti-competitive conduct

If you want to report anti-competitive conduct and do not require anonymity, you can do so by completing the online complaint form, emailing, or calling us on 0800 943 600. Information provided to us, no matter how small, can be valuable when added to other information we may hold.

The Commission also operates a leniency programme to encourage the reporting of cartels. Read more about reporting cartel conduct.

Anonymous whistleblowing tool

We recognise there are situations where someone who has knowledge or specific information about anti-competitive conduct might be reluctant to report it for fear of negative consequences or reprisals.

For such cases, the Commission has a secure anonymous whistleblowing tool which uses encryption methods to allow you to submit a report anonymously. The information provided through this online tool cannot be traced back to you, as long as you do not enter any information that identifies you.

Read more about the anonymous whistleblowing tool.