Expert legal advice from the competition lawyers

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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Supply of construction services competition investigation

First published by Matt on October 17, 2019 in the following categories: Investigations Latest and tagged with | | |

construction companies anti-competitive behaviour

The investigation started by the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) earlier this year into the supply of construction services is now set to proceed.

The decision looks to have been made after an initial information gathering exercise that has been carried out since March this year.

Given the scale of this industry, it’s another important when it comes to ensuring that there’s healthy competition in place that allows consumers to pay fair prices. Not only is competition important for keeping prices down, but it also allows players in the market to innovate in terms of efficiency and lowering costs for both products and services alike.

This can all benefit the consumer.

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Hydrocortisone tablets competition investigation

First published by Matt 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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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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Privately funded healthcare services deadline looming

First published by Matt on September 26, 2019 in the following categories: Healthcare Industry Latest and tagged with | |

The deadline for continuing the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) investigation into the privately funded healthcare services is looming.

The CMA has been looking into whether there’s any anti-competitive arrangements in the sector. If there are, competition may be stifled, and the consumer may be getting hit in the pocket.

When it comes to investigations that involve healthcare, they can often be the most important ones. They say that you can’t put a price on your health, but in reality, big medical companies and pharmaceutical giants literally do just that.

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Funerals market investigation latest

First published by Matt on September 19, 2019 in the following categories: Investigations and tagged with | | |

markets

Here’s the latest in the ongoing funerals market investigation that’s being conducted by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The market study was launched last year in June 2018. Research was commissioned to better understand the experiences and decision-making processes of people who had engaged the services of a funeral director. A number of businesses in the market responded after the launch of the market study and made comments in relation to the information gathering exercise that the CMA is undertaking.

With this being a market that will (likely) always be there, it’s an important one when it comes to making sure that competition is healthy in the sector.

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Anti-virus software sector investigation latest

First published by Matt on September 12, 2019 in the following categories: Industry Pricing and tagged with | | |

antivirus

Here’s the latest in the important anti-virus software sector investigation that’s being conducted by the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority).

It’s an important one, especially given how prevalent cybersecurity is these days. There have been so many hacks and attacks in recent times that all organisations – both public and private sector – must invest properly to ensure that they’re defended.

But are service providers in the sector offering their vital line of defence in terms that are deemed as fair, and in the spirit of healthy competition? That’s essentially what the CMA wants to find out.

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Loyalty penalty investigation: the latest

First published by Matt on September 04, 2019 in the following categories: Investigations Loyalty Penalties Pricing and tagged with | | | |

Complaints

There has been an update about some of the positive steps that have been taken in the wake of the huge loyalty penalty investigation, often referred to as a “super complaint”.

A “super complaint” is a complaint that’s usually submitted by a consumer body on behalf of a number of people who have the same complaint against sometimes several companies, and sometimes across more than one sector. The loyalty penalty super complaint stemmed from the Citizens Advice Bureau who had raised concerns over customers paying more for goods and services for sticking with the same suppliers.

This one has covered notable areas that include insurance, mortgages, bank accounts, broadband services and mobile services.

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Higher education consumer protection review

First published by Matt on August 29, 2019 in the following categories: Education and tagged with |

Education

The higher education consumer protection review was opened way back in May 2014, and a final advice was published by the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) in March 2015.

However, when it comes to the compliance reviews that have been going on thereafter, and the undertakings from the relevant universities, the watchful eye of the CMA remains fixed on the sector.

The case is classed as a closed case, but there has been a recent development that forms as part of the ongoing commitments to ensure enforcement is in place.

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CMA launch review into unarranged overdraft alerts

First published by Matt on August 22, 2019 in the following categories: Banking Sector Industry and tagged with | |

Following the Retail Banking Market Investigation Order 2017, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced a review into the unarranged overdraft alerts aspect of the order.

The decision for a review to be carried out by the CMA was outlined at the start of July. It involves potential changes that may come about as a result of the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) becoming involved with new rules set for the end of the year.

With banks having made significant amounts of money for a number of years from fees charged for overdrafts, this continues to be an important matter for regulators to keep an eye on.

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