Expert legal advice from the competition lawyers

Category: Advertising

Final report published by CMA on funerals competition investigation

First published by Author on October 06, 2021 in the following categories: Advertising Care Homes Consumer Law Covid-19 Industry Investigations Latest and tagged with | | | | |

double glazing

The CMA has finally published their concluding report on the funerals competition investigation which has been ongoing for several years, after it began in June 2018. Revealed to the public in mid-December, the report set out a series of suggested “sunlight remedies” to be applied in the funerals market sector.

These remedies are designed to empower consumers further when it comes to selecting funeral services, and to ensure that the sector remains under scrutiny following the investigation. The Remedies Implementation timetable was also published as of 8th January 2021, which set a deadline for implementing remedial action by 17th June 2021.

While there has been no action taken or fines issued as a result of this investigation so far, the CMA’s concerns for the funeral industry remain significant. As believers in fair competition, it is important that regulators work hard to make sure that business practices are fair for companies and customers. We believe that the thorough investigation has demonstrated strong support for the rights of the consumer in this industry.

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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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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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Booking hotels online: CMA continues to monitor practices and behaviour

First published by Author on September 03, 2020 in the following categories: Advertising Incentives Industry Pricing Selling Restrictions Travel and Holidays and tagged with | | | | | |

consumers stung by bogus holiday deals

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) continues to monitor pricing practices and behaviours for booking hotels online.

Since the completion of their investigations in 2015 into the sector, they have been actively engaged in monitoring developments. As an important sector to keep track of, their work – and that of their European competition counterparts – is clearly important.

Here is some information about the CMA’s latest publication of their work in this sector, and a brief background of the preceding events.

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Most favoured nation clauses in price comparison websites sector

First published by Author on November 05, 2019 in the following categories: Advertising Consumer Law Industry Pricing Selling Restrictions and tagged with | | | | |

online advertising

As it has been a while since we looked at this one, here’s the latest in the investigation into alleged most favoured nation clauses in the price comparison website sector.

The investigation that’s being carried out by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is over the alleged use of such clauses for price comparison websites in relation to insurance products. The term “most favoured nation” originates from international trade agreements, whereby more favourable trade terms have been used between countries who favour each other more. In terms of competition law, it’s about contractual provisions whereby a seller may provide their best terms specifically to a particular buyer.

Such behaviour can restrict and distort competition, which is why it’s important for the CMA to look into it.

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Regulators target fake and misleading online reviews

First published by Author on October 23, 2019 in the following categories: Advertising Consumer Law and tagged with | | | | |

The CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) is targeting fake and misleading online reviews because of the unfair impact it can have on competition within markets.

Nowadays, where most things can be bought and sold online, so can testimonials for products and services, and it’s this practice that the CMA’s aiming to stop. With how much influence the statements of other customers can have when it’s never been easier to shop around quickly, it seems that some companies are prepared to try and influence consumer choice with the power of fake reviews.

At the same time, it can be just as easy for someone to pay for bad reviews to hit one of their competitors as well.

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Online hotel booking competition investigation update

First published by Author on October 03, 2019 in the following categories: Advertising Consumer Law Travel and Holidays and tagged with | | | |

consumers stung by bogus holiday deals

An update has been issued in the online hotel booking competition investigations being conducted that has been focusing on consumer law.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been looking at the sector since 2017. They launched enforcement action in June 2018 on the basis that a number of hotel booking sites had reportedly been breaking important consumer law. Demands were also made for a number of companies to review their terms and practices to ensure that they’re being fair.

Matters like price guarantees and promises were also referred to the ASA (Advertising Standards Agency) over whether any statements being made were misleading.

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Online platforms and digital advertising market study launched

First published by Author on July 18, 2019 in the following categories: Advertising Investigations and tagged with | | |

online advertising

This month, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has confirmed that a market study has been launched into online platforms and digital advertising.

The CMA has cited their duty to protect consumers in what is a huge and growing digital economy. They want to ensure there’s healthy competition, and ensure that big players in the market are not abusing their powers for their own advantage.

Invitations for comment have been issued with a deadline for responses set for the end of this month.

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Viagogo court case steps up

First published by Author on July 11, 2019 in the following categories: Advertising Industry Investigations Latest Pricing Selling Restrictions and tagged with | | | | | |

live event

The ongoing Viagogo court case between the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the secondary ticketing website is about to step up.

The CMA are reportedly moving ahead with contempt of court proceedings on the basis that they say Viagogo is still failing to adhere to a court order obtained earlier this year.

This is huge news, and it’s alarming to hear that the CMA considers that the ticketing resellers are still failing to comply with a court order. Following a market sector review, a number of firms changed their behaviours, but it appears that Viagogo isn’t fully complying.

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