Expert legal advice from The Competition Lawyers

Category: Digital

CMA suspects anti-competitive behaviour regarding production and broadcasting of sports content

First published by Author on June 07, 2023 in the following categories: Consumer Law Digital Industry Investigations Sports and tagged with | | | |

production and broadcasting of sports

Since July 2022, the CMA has been looking into suspected anti-competitive behaviour in relation to the production and broadcasting of sports content in the UK for both freelance and employed labour.

The early CMA suspicions involve potential suspected breaches of competition law which the UK’s competition regulator has been looking into over the last 12 months or so. The CMA has yet to make any final determinations, but it appears to have made considerable headway in relation to the ongoing investigation.

As things stand, further information is still being gathered by the watchdog to determine whether any infringements have taken place.

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Social media endorsements – CMA investigations

First published by Author on January 04, 2023 in the following categories: Advertising Consumer Law Digital Investigations Latest Selling Restrictions and tagged with | | | | |

For several years, the CMA has been investigating social media endorsements to make sure that vital competition and consumer laws in the UK and not being broken.

Given the prevalence of social media, particularly in respect of it being used for marketing and advertising these days, it is vital that people know when they are seeing advertisements and products and services being pushed for recompense by influences. There have been many questions as to whether it has been clear enough that people know they are being advertised to as opposed to simply being recommended a product, which is the real focus of the CMA investigation.

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CMA investigates fake online reviews on Amazon and Google sites

First published by Author on May 05, 2022 in the following categories: Consumer Law Digital Industry Investigations and tagged with | | | | | |

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) previously announced that it had begun an investigation into potentially fake online reviews which may exist on major websites and online marketplaces. It is understood that there may be concerns that businesses are not doing enough to monitor and take down misleading reviews, and that some could be benefiting from them.

Since the birth of online shopping, consumers have been afforded a huge breadth of choice when buying products or services, and all in an easy way. However, the internet also comes with risks for consumers, with many scammers and disreputable businesses trying to take advantage of the faceless nature of online shopping, hiding behind a screen as they attempt to convince unsuspecting consumers to make purchases.

The existence of fake online reviews is one of the major downsides to online shopping, posing a difficulty for consumers as authenticity can often be hard to assess accurately. It is, therefore, important that businesses appropriately oversee online reviews and remove the fake ones, or they could be unfairly profiting from the deception of customers.

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Most favoured nation clause example: ComparetheMarket fined £17.8m

First published by Author on February 02, 2022 in the following categories: Advertising Consumer Law Digital Industry Investigations Market Dominance Abuse Pricing Selling Restrictions and tagged with | | | | | | |

cma construction

Last year, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published the details of its full decision having fined ComparetheMarket £17.8m for reportedly breaching competition law. The investigation that had been concluded by the UK’s competition regulator led to the finding that the famous price comparison website was said to have broken the law by including a most favoured nation clause in some of the contracts it had with home insurance providers.

Over the course of December 2015-December 2017, ComparetheMarket is said to have used the clause to retain its domination of the comparison website market. The knock-on effect may have been the prevention of healthy growth of its competitors and possibly restricting customers from finding better deals on their home insurance.

Designed to empower consumers to find bargains in a crowded and confusing market, price comparison websites should be on the side of their users. This is why it was concerning that ComparetheMarket had been restricting competition seemingly for their own gain. The enforcement action taken by the CMA hopefully helped to restore competitiveness in the digital price comparison market, and is a real example of where the most favoured nation clause can lead to problems for competition law.

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Digital Markets Taskforce

First published by Author on December 01, 2021 in the following categories: Advertising Consumer Law Digital Industry Latest and tagged with | | | |

car rental sites

Many businesses have made great leaps in their development due to technology, and the CMA’s (Competition and Markets Authority) Digital Markets Taskforce was created to investigate how competition could be regulated in a way befitting of the digital age. Asked by the government to carry out an advisory report, the CMA look to have made good on this goal, having published their findings and recommendations in December last year.

The revamped approach to digital firms will hopefully promote fair competition and reaffirm the rights of consumers, two of the key principles that must be there to ensure for fair competition. Both can be essential to ensuring a level playing field, and any failure in respect of these principles could constitute a breach of competition law. Breaches of competition law can often be very bad for the consumer, so the work of the CMA and other regulators is vital.

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