Guidance informs an undertaking whether or not, in CCCS’s view, the agreement or conduct is likely to infringe the Competition Act. An application for guidance is usually treated confidentially, although we may consult with third parties if it helps us to deal with the application more effectively.
A decision informs an undertaking whether or not, in CCCS’s view, the agreement or conduct does in fact infringe the Competition Act. CCCS does not afford the same level of confidentiality to applications for decision as it does for applications for guidance. In particular, once an application for decision is made, a summary of the details of the application (which will be submitted by the applicant) must be included in the Public Register.
You will note that there are fewer instances under which CCCS is allowed to take action after a favourable decision, as opposed to a favourable guidance (see “Benefit from getting guidance or decision”). You will also note that the filing fee is expected to be higher for decisions than guidance (see “How much does it cost”). This reflect the greater extent of detailed analysis required to determine the outcome.