Expert legal advice from the competition lawyers

Category: Market Dominance Abuse

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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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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Hydrocortisone tablets competition investigation

First published by Author on October 09, 2019 in the following categories: Healthcare Market Dominance Abuse and tagged with | | | |

Here’s the latest in the hydrocortisone tablets competition investigation that’s being conducted by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The history of this key study goes way back to October 2017 when the CMA started looking into alleged anti-competitive agreements and alleged abusive conduct. Exactly two years on, a great deal has happened as the CMA looks to ensure that the NHS and patients alike are not being ripped off by vastly wealthy pharmaceutical companies.

As we often say when the investigation involves the healthcare industry, this is a serious and important matter.

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Most favoured nation clause competition law investigation

First published by Author on November 09, 2018 in the following categories: Investigations Market Dominance Abuse and tagged with | |

Pharmaceutical abuse

There’s been an update in an ongoing most favoured nation clause competition law investigation being conducted by the CMA.

The CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) has an open investigation looking into whether there’s been a breach of competition law. This case surrounds the use of a ‘most favoured nation clause’ used by a price comparison website in the home insurance market.

The companies being investigated for alleged breaches of competition law include BGL (Holdings) Limited; BGL Group Limited; BISL Limited (BISL); and Compare The Market Limited.

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Royal Mail competition fine

First published by Author on October 05, 2018 in the following categories: Market Dominance Abuse Pricing and tagged with | |

Complaints

A Royal Mail competition fine has been issued in the sum of £50m by the UK communications regulator for abuse of a dominant market position.

Regulators Ofcom accused the Royal Mail of penalising wholesale customers over bulk mail deliveries for things like council tax demands and bank statements. They were fined for discriminating against a rival, Whistl, who were subject to contractual changes back in 2014.

These changes included price increases that led to Whistl scrapping expansion plans that cost the business millions of pounds.

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