Expert legal advice from the competition lawyers

Category: Consumer Law

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

First published by Matt 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 Matt 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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Ofwat Price Determinations latest developments

First published by Matt on August 12, 2020 in the following categories: Consumer Law Pricing and tagged with | |

Ofwat price determinations

The Ofwat price determinations matter remains ongoing as the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) continues its work following rejections issued to proposed price controls.

This is a matter that we continue to keep a very close eye on. Price controls can be incredibly important in a matter like this where the product is something we really do all need. Consumers must be able to afford water, no matter their earnings and financial situation.

Here is a little about the original case as well as the most recent updates and what is expected to happen next in the matter.

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Hand sanitiser pricing under regulatory review

First published by Matt on July 16, 2020 in the following categories: Consumer Law Industry Latest Price Fixing Price Hikes Pricing and tagged with | | | |

hand sanitiser pricing

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been looking into hand sanitiser pricing over concerns that important competition laws may be being breached.

Last month, the CMA announced that they were looking into the matter that is undoubtedly tied to how the use of such products has changed during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Although the investigation only started last month, and no assumptions are being made, there have been some significant changes and developments so far.

Clearly, given how the markets for such products has changed over the last few months, this is an important matter that needs to be looked into.

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Ofwat price determinations case

First published by Matt on May 06, 2020 in the following categories: Consumer Law Industry Investigations Latest Pricing and tagged with | | | | |

Ofwat price determinations case

The Ofwat price determinations case follows a referral by four major water companies in the UK in relation to price controls that are set to go into effect for the next five years.

Price controls for the water market are put in place for the protection of the consumer. They can ensure that water is affordable and available to all, but the controls must account for the fact that private companies are providing water services and competing in the market.

If new price controls are rejected by any of the UK water companies, the matter can be referred to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The CMA can make its own separate determination as a regulator with similar duties to Ofwat.

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Roll-over contracts for online gaming investigation

First published by Matt on January 15, 2020 in the following categories: Consumer Law Industry Investigations and tagged with | | | |

Online Gaming

Last April, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) initiated an investigation into roll-over contracts for online gaming.

The online gaming sector has grown exponentially in recent years, with at least one console a staple in most modern houses these days, I would assume. The monetisation of online gaming has led to more purchase options for the consumer, so the costs of being involved in online gaming is something that should be carefully considered.

In the same way that the CMA has been looking into contract factors for things like broadband and telecommunications, they’re also keen to know if the online gaming sector is being fair. As this is just the initial investigation stage, no assumptions are being made as to whether important laws are being broken or not.

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Most favoured nation clauses in price comparison websites sector

First published by Matt 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 Matt 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 Matt 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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