Behind the enactment of the Competition Act 1998 lies a decade of reform proposals which eventually expanded to meet the more extensive reformatory zeal displayed by this present Government than that of its predecessor. A desire to protect the weaker of the parties to a bargain has coloured European thinking, and it has been asked whether the domestic law should share such a concern. The distancing between the old and the new was recently highlighted by the Director General of Fair Trading in the context of certain secret price fixing activity which the Cartels Task Force had uncovered in a section of the car industry. Having accepted assurances about future behaviour, the Director General emphasised the weakness of the existing law (in the shape here of aspects of the Restrictive Practices Act 1976 and the Resale Prices Act 1976) and also emphasised the difference of the position which would pertain under the new law.