The Competition Act: a new avenue of redress?
In March 2001 the Competition Act will come into effect. Peter Grose outlines the Act’s provisions and and the possible impact they may have on the long term care sector. In November last year Parliament passed the Competition Act 1998. This comes into effect on 1 March 2000 and will totally change the face of competition law in this country. It may have a huge impact on the management of the local care market by local authorities. The Act creates two prohibitions: the first attacks certain agreements and the second attacks certain behaviour. The application of both of these prohibitions revolves around two fundamental concepts of what is an undertaking and what is a market. An undertaking is any body or organisation involved in a commercial/economic activity, whether or not for profit. This definition is very wide. It will catch companies, firms, private individuals, charities, housing associations and trusts. It will affect everyone who owns a care home. It may also catch local authorities. Local authoriti