Competition & Markets Authority
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CMA launches investigation into fragrances and fragrance ingredients

The CMA has launched an investigation into suspected anti-competitive conduct in relation to the supply of fragrances and fragrance ingredients.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has reason to suspect anti-competitive behaviour has taken place involving suppliers of fragrances and fragrance ingredients for use in the manufacture of consumer products such as household and personal care products.

The CMA has been in contact with the Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice, the European Commission and the Swiss Competition Commission in relation to this matter, and this investigation has been launched in consultation with them.

Following a period of investigation and information gathering, the CMA may issue a statement of objections if it comes to the provisional view that competition law has been infringed. At this stage, no assumptions should be made about whether competition law has been broken.

Further detail of the CMA’s procedures in competition cases is available in its guidance, and any updates to this investigation will be made on the Suspected anti-competitive conduct in relation to fragrances and fragrance ingredients case page.

Notes to editors

  1. The competition legislation relevant to the CMA’s investigation is the Competition Act 1998. The Chapter I prohibition of the Competition Act 1998 prohibits agreements, concerted practices and decisions by associations of undertakings which have as their object or effect the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition within the UK or a part of it and which may affect trade within the UK or a part of it unless they are excluded or exempt.
  2. As with all its work, the CMA will progress this investigation at pace whilst ensuring a robust and detailed review is conducted and parties’ rights of defence are respected. There is no legal deadline to complete inquiries under the Competition Act 1998.
  3. Under the CMA’s leniency policy, a business that has been involved in certain types of anti-competitive conduct may be granted immunity from penalties or a significant reduction in penalty in return for reporting cartel activity and assisting the CMA with its investigation. Individuals involved in cartel activity may also be granted immunity from criminal prosecution for the cartel offence under the Enterprise Act 2002 and from director disqualification. The CMA also operates a rewards policy under which it may pay a financial reward of up to £100,000 in return for information which helps it to identify and take action against illegal cartels. More information is available on the CMA’s leniency policy and the CMA’s informant reward policy.
  4. Anyone who has information about a cartel is encouraged to call the CMA cartels hotline on 020 3738 6888 or email
  5. All enquiries from journalists should be directed to the CMA press office by email on or by phone on 020 3738 6460.
  6. All enquiries from the general public should be directed to the CMA’s General Enquiries team on or 020 3738 6000.
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