Expert legal advice from the competition lawyers

Category: Latest

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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CMA investigates COVID-19 package holiday cancellations

First published by Author on August 04, 2021 in the following categories: Consumer Law Covid-19 Industry Investigations Latest Travel and Holidays and tagged with | | | | | | |

COVID-19 package holiday cancellations

In March 2020, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced its launch of a taskforce to tackle the challenges faced by businesses and consumers during the coronavirus pandemic. As part of the taskforce, the CMA later launched an investigation into COVID-19 package holiday cancellations, which has now been ongoing since last summer.

The decision to launch the investigation was made by the CMA following reports that some package holiday providers had been withholding refunds, despite the fact customers were forced to cancel holidays due to lockdown restrictions either within the UK or abroad.

In our eyes, no customer could have foreseen the coronavirus pandemic, and it is important that consumers are protected in these exceptional circumstances. We hope that the CMA’s continued pressure on the travel industry will ensure that all customers receive the refunds that they could be entitled to.

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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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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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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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Hand sanitiser pricing under regulatory review

First published by Author 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 Author 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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Retail banking market investigation: the latest

First published by Author on April 01, 2020 in the following categories: Banking Sector Industry Latest and tagged with | | |

The have been some developments lately in the retail banking market investigation that’s being conducted by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Since 2016, the CMA has been looking into the supply of personal and current accounts to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The investigations were launched off the back of concerns that there was a lack of effective competition in the sector, arising from two studies prior conducted by the CMA. Working with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), measures have been taken to improve competition in this multi-billion-pound sector.

Here’s the latest.

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