A cartel is a collusive agreement between rival business to eliminate the process of competition, i.e. not to compete against each other to capture sales.
Agreements between competitors (collusion) to fix price, share market and restrict supply are prohibited. Such horizontal agreements usually significantly prevent, restrict or distort competition. The anti-competitive cooperation results in higher prices, lower choice and poorer quality of products and services. This is because the firms collude to eliminate the process of competition (rivalry) that should exist between them to capture sales. The elimination of competition reduces the innovative potential of the enterprises. Cartels thus hurt the consumer directly. And stifle economic growth and hamper progress.
The Competition Commission investigates and imposed substantial fines on enterprises involved in a cartel. The enforcement of the prohibition (investigation) and the decision making to impose fines is made by the Competition Commission without having recourse to Courts.