In February 2020, the FCA published a practical guide on the application of antitrust rules to small and medium-sized enterprises. The FCA published this guide with the knowledge that SMEs often lack the resources to be fully aware of and comply with antitrust rules.
The guide outlines the anticompetitive practices that are most likely to concern SMEs (namely cartels, tenders offer rules, exchanges of information, resale price maintenance, restrictions on online sales, and general abuses of dominance). It also presents the procedures applicable when SMEs are in breach of antitrust rules (i.e., leniency and settlement proceedings) or victims of anticompetitive practices (i.e., complaints and follow-on actions for damages).
The guide is a further step towards enforcement of antitrust laws at all levels of the economy. It also reflects the FCA’s objective of increasingly relying on private actors to report breaches and enforce antitrust rules.