On 29th April 2014, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) published a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The MoU sets out the basis on which CMA and the SFO will co-operate to investigate and/or prosecute individuals in respect of the criminal cartel offence, established by section 188 of the Enterprise Act 2002 (EA02), where serious or complex fraud is suspected.

Proceedings for the criminal cartel offence under section 188 can only be instituted by the Director of the Serious Fraud Office or by or with the consent of the CMA.

The MoU sets out how the SFO will cooperate in the sharing of intelligence and exchange of information, how initial enquiries will be made, the use of relevant powers during a criminal investigation as well as the costs of the investigation. There is also guidance on how the authorities will continue to move forward prosecutions when parallel Competition Act 1998 investigations and EC cases are in existence. Guidance as to the position when leniency is granted is considered. The MoU also covers sections on no action letters, decisions to cease investigation and whether to prosecute.

Full text of the MoU can be accessed at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/307038/MoU_CMAandSFO.PDF