The disqualification follows an investigation by the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) into the delivery of lead sheet to the construction industry.
It emerged that Associated Lead Mills (ALM) and HJ Enthoven (Handel as BLM British Lead) had broken the law by entering into anti-competitive agreements.
The two Hertfordshire-based companies together account for a significant proportion of UK rolled lead shipments. You admitted to forming an illegal cartel last year. This involved violating the law four times between October 2015 and April 2017 by fixing prices, splitting the rolled lead market by agreeing not to target certain customers, and agreeing not to supply any new business as this would undermine existing customer relationships Company. Each of the agreements included the exchange of competitive information.
The companies were fined more than £ 9 million last November. [See Roofing suppliers fined £9m for collusion, 4/11/20]. Action has now been taken against the three people behind the deal.
Graham Hudson and Maurice Sherling were directors of ALM at the time of the illegal activities; Jocelyn Campbell was a director of BLM.
Jocelyn Campbell also tried to hide his communications with competitor companies by using a cell phone other than his main phone, from December 2016 until the investigation began in July 2017. This only became known when the CMA seized the phone.
Maurice Sherling admitted to suspecting that ALM is violating competition law and is receiving competition sensitive information from a competitor (Jocelyn Campbell at BLM) but does nothing to prevent it.
Jocelyn Campbell is disqualified for 6.5 years, Graham Hudson for 4 years and Maurice Sherling for 3 years.
Michael Grenfell, Executive Director of Enforcement at CMA, said, “It is an important responsibility of business leaders to ensure that their companies do not engage in illegal anti-competitive practices that can lead to higher prices for customers.
“The CMA has clear evidence that these directors either knowingly made illegal agreements and communications or were aware of them and did nothing to stop them. Therefore these measures are necessary. This should be a message to all directors. If your company violates competition law, you risk personal disqualification. “