Expert legal advice from the competition lawyers

Suspected anti-competition arrangements in the financial services sector

First published by Author on July 07, 2021 in the following categories: Cartels Compensation Claims Industry Investigations Price Fixing Pricing and tagged with | | | | | |

finance and credit cards

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the government body that regulates business competition in the UK, previously published an update with regards to its investigation into the financial services sector relating to alleged suspected anti-competition arrangements.

The update followed the UK government’s declaration of a post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union, with the CMA announcing that the investigation will continue beyond the conclusion of the exit transition period. Previously, the investigation was also seeking to ascertain whether an infringement of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) had occurred, but now it will proceed in respect of UK competition law, solely investigating the possibility of a breach of the Competition Act 1998 (CA98).

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CMA launches children’s social care study

First published by Author on June 02, 2021 in the following categories: Consumer Law Industry Investigations Latest Pricing and tagged with | | |

Education

In March, the CMA announced its intention to begin a children’s social care study in an effort to understand the rising costs of care and lack of supply reportedly affecting the sector. The review is only a preliminary step, but it could lead to future recommendations or, potentially, a full investigation into social care.

The announcement is said to have come following concerns from other organisations, which have raised the issue of private sector provision of social care and the high profits these private providers may be reaping. In January, Josh MacAlister, chair of the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care in England, wrote to the CMA asking for the social care market to be investigated.

There is no evidence to suggest that the CMA is looking into anti-competitive practices in children’s social care, or breaches of competition law. Instead, the CMA is investigating how profit-driven companies may be affecting the provision of appropriate placements for children.

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CMA launches Apple App Store investigation over alleged anti-competitive behaviour

First published by Author on May 05, 2021 in the following categories: Industry Investigations Latest Market Dominance Abuse and tagged with | |

Apple App Store investigation

At the beginning of March, the CMA announced that it had launched an Apple App Store investigation over allegations that the company has been imposing unfair terms and conditions on developers looking to sell their apps via the App Store.

The App Store is the only means by which iPhone and iPad users can download third-party apps to devices, meaning Apple can control the ways in which all apps are distributed. As this is only the beginning of the investigation, the CMA has highlighted that this is not yet a confirmation that Apple has breached competition law.

It comes after two antitrust investigations by the European Commission into Apple were launched last June, one of which also concerned the App Store and the limits it places on app developers. The other is related to Apple Pay, and similarly raises the issue that other mobile payment services cannot be used on iPhones.

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The CMA’s Nortriptyline investigation

First published by Author on April 14, 2021 in the following categories: Consumer Law Healthcare Industry Investigations and tagged with | | |

Nortriptyline investigation

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has issued fines as a result of their nortriptyline investigation. Nortriptyline is an unbranded, prescription-only generic medicine used for the relief of symptoms of depression. In some cases, it can be used to treat neuropathic pain and nocturnal enuresis (bed-wetting).

The CMA has recently issued decisions imposing fines on suppliers of nortriptyline tablets for reportedly breaching competition law after their nortriptyline investigation concluded. There have also been director disqualifications.

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Suspected breach of consumer protection law on secondary ticketing websites

First published by Author on March 10, 2021 in the following categories: Advertising Consumer Law Industry Investigations and tagged with | | |

cma ticket investigation

There has been a suspected breach of consumer protection law on secondary ticketing websites that the Competition Markets Authority (CMA) has been investigating.

After the original review of secondary ticketing websites involving StubHub, GET ME IN! and Seatwave in 2018, the CMA is further investigating the compliance of some after alleged concerns about compliance with UK consumer law.

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CMA funerals investigation update

First published by Author on February 10, 2021 in the following categories: Consumer Law Industry Investigations Latest Pricing and tagged with | | | | |

markets

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is carrying out a market investigation into the supply of services by funeral directors at the point of need, and the supply of crematoria services also. This article is a CMA funerals investigation update.

On the 16th March 2020, the CMA announced their decision to extend the statutory deadline for this investigation by six months. The new deadline for this investigation is now currently set as 27th March 2021, with all submissions until June 2020 being taken into account.

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The CMA review ‘hidden advertising’ by Instagram influencers

First published by Author on January 19, 2021 in the following categories: Advertising Consumer Law Investigations and tagged with | | |

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched an investigation into hidden advertising by Instagram influencers, according to the Guardian.

It has been alleged that some influencers on social media platform Instagram have been posting content that is paid-for and sponsored by brands,  advertising their products, without informing their audience. The problem of reportedly hidden advertising is a huge concern for the CMA, and they have said more needs to be done by the owners of social media platforms to tackle the problem.

It is a requirement for Instagram influencers to mark their posts with #AD or #advert and make it clear they have been sponsored by a specific brand or organisation. If they do not, they could violate the UK consumer protection law and potentially be misleading customers.

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CMA finds anti-competitive practices in Digital pianos, digital keyboards and guitars sector

First published by Author on December 15, 2020 in the following categories: Advertising Consumer Law Industry Investigations Latest Pricing Selling Restrictions and tagged with | | | | | |

guitar music MJ own

On 17 April 2018, the Competition Markets Authority (CMA) began a formal investigation into suspected anti-competitive practices in the musical instrument industry.

The CMA reportedly had reasonable grounds to suspect Yamaha of a competition law infringement. Yamaha was thought to be involved in anti-competitive practices and/or concerted agreements with at least one UK seller.

Given the value of this growing market sector, this is an important investigation for the CMA to have undertaken.

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Review of the Legal Services Market

First published by Author on November 04, 2020 in the following categories: Consumer Law Industry Investigations Latest Pricing and tagged with | | | |

legal services market

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched a review of the implementation and impact of the recommendations of its 2016 market study into the legal services market in England and Wales.

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CMA launch investigation into the supply of lithium-based medication

First published by Author on October 15, 2020 in the following categories: Healthcare Industry Investigations and tagged with | | |

liothyronine tablets investigation

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched an investigation into the supply of lithium-based medication, used to treat bipolar disorder.

The CMA has announced the investigation will look into prominent pharmaceutical company, Essential Pharma. They are suspected to have abused an alleged dominant position as a medication supplier by proposing to withdraw the supply of lithium-based medication to UK patients.

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