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Construction cartel directors disqualified following CMA investigation

Construction cartel directors disqualified following CMA investigation

2 June 2019 Email this article

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has secured the disqualification of two former directors of CPM Group Ltd following CPM’s admission that it breached competition law.

The move follows the CMA’s statement of objections issued on 13 December 2018, alleging that three suppliers of pre-cast concrete drainage products – CPM Group Ltd (CPM), Stanton Bonna Ltd, and FP McCann Ltd – breached competition law by taking part in a secret cartel for almost seven years from 2006. The CMA has provisionally found that the cartel aimed to fix or coordinate prices and share out the market for certain pre-cast concrete drainage products in Great Britain.

As part of a settlement process, Somerset-based CPM and Derbyshire-based Stanton Bonna Ltd admitted to participating in the alleged cartel and have agreed to pay fines, which will be determined at the end of the CMA’s investigation. The CMA’s investigation into a third company which has not entered into settlement, FP McCann Ltd, continues and no assumption should be made that it has infringed the law.

Mr Philip Michael Stacey and Mr Robert James Taylor Smillie were directors at CPM throughout the period of the alleged cartel activity, during which time the company was one of the leading players in the market. The CMA has secured legally binding undertakings from these former directors, which disqualify them as directors and prevent them from being involved in the management of any company based in England, Scotland and Wales.

Mr Stacey has been disqualified for seven years and six months, and Mr Smillie has been disqualified for six years and six months. Investigations are ongoing with respect to other directors and FP McCann Ltd.