Zenith CC&P Current Awareness

​CMA rewards for information on potential cartels

15 February 2019

Prof. Suzanne Rab

The Competition and Markets Authority has published a response to a freedom of information (FOI) request on the rewards it paid for information about potential anticompetitive activity.

In March 2014 the CMA confirmed the policy of the Office of Fair Trading according to which rewards of up to £100,000 may be granted to informant individuals who provide information about potential cartels.

On 13 February 2019 the CMA stated that it does hold information falling within the scope of the FOI request but considers that the information is exempt from disclosure under section 30(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

Section 30(2) applies if the information requested was obtained or recorded by the CMA for the purposes of its functions in relation to certain relevant investigations and proceedings, and it relates to the obtaining of information from confidential sources.  The CMA considers that the balance of public interest weighs in favour of withholding disclosure of the information.

The CMA also stated that it considers that the information requested is exempt under sections 31(1)(g) and 31(3) of the FOIA because disclosure would be likely to prejudice the exercise of its functions.

There has been much speculation about the extent to which the CMA actually receives information under its rewards policy and whether rewards have been paid.  The CMA’s statement does not reveal any more meaningful information on this other than that the policy remains in force and the CMA holds relevant information.

Current Awareness

By the CC&P team