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WSTA Competition Compliance Policy



The WSTA plays an important role in promoting our members’ interests and as a trade association, we take competition compliance seriously.

Whilst discussions can cover matters of interest to our industry, we cannot discuss or exchange sensitive commercial information.

The WSTA must not be used as a means to create or encourage an infringement of competition law, as both the WSTA and our members can face serious consequences.

If at any time during any WSTA meetings you think our discussions may be in breach of competition rules, please inform the Chair of the meeting. The Chair may close the meeting at any time if they believe that discussions are in breach of competition rules.

This document sets out the WSTA’s Competition Compliance Policy.

 

The WSTA:

  • Forbids members from discussing competitively sensitive information
  • Requires members to leave any meetings with competitors where competitively sensitive information is discussed, and to report them to the Association or the CMA
  • Ensures that any standard contract terms and conditions developed by the Association are clear, easily understood, in plain language and fair to consumers
  • Ensures that rules and admission criteria for the Association are transparent, proportionate, non-discriminatory and based upon objective standards
  • Ensures that the requirements for any quality certification schemes the Association
  • Keeps confidential any commercially sensitive information given to the Association by an individual member, for example when that member seeks guidance from the Association

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The WSTA does not:

  • Have rules that prevent members from taking independent commercial decisions
  • Let the Association be a channel for, or otherwise facilitate, the sharing of competitively sensitive information between members about pricing, customers or output plans
  • Allow members to discuss competitively sensitive information in or around Association events, including in ‘unofficial meetings’ or at social events
  • Issue formal or informal pricing or output recommendations to members
  • Develop Association rules or practices that restrict members from advertising their prices or discounts, soliciting for business or otherwise competing with other members
  • Require members to provide the Association with competitively sensitive information, such as information about pricing and/or output intentions
  • Publish messages suggesting that lower prices means lower quality
  • Establish irrelevant or arbitrary rules for the admission of new members
  • Adopt rules that restrict members’ advertising and promotional business practices, beyond ensuring such practices are legal, truthful and not misleading
  • Prevent members from using different contractual conditions from any Association developed standard conditions, if they wish to do so.

 

What is competitively sensitive information?

Competitively sensitive information covers any non-public strategic information about a business’s commercial policy. It includes, but is not limited to, future pricing and output plans.

Historical commercial information is far less likely to be competitively sensitive, particularly if individual business’s commercial activities cannot be identified.

 

Report a cartel

T: Cartels hotline

020 3738 6888

E: cartelshotline

@cma.gsi.gov.uk

For more information on compliance:

www.gov.uk/cma