First published by Author on January 04, 2023 in the following categories: Advertising Consumer Law Digital Investigations Latest Selling Restrictions and tagged with advertising | cma | consumer law | incentives | investigations | market study
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.
First published by Author on May 05, 2022 in the following categories: Consumer Law Digital Industry Investigations and tagged with advertising | cma | comparison sites | competition law | consumer law | incentives | investigations
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.
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 advertising | cma | competition law | consumer law | contracts | investigations | market abuse | pricing
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.
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 advertising | care home | cma | competition law | funerals market | investigations
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.
There has been a suspected breach of consumer protection law on secondary ticketing websites that the Competition Markets Authority (CMA) has been investigating.
After the original review of secondary ticketing websites involving StubHub, GET ME IN! and Seatwave in 2018, the CMA is further investigating the compliance of some after alleged concerns about compliance with UK consumer law.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched an investigation into hidden advertising by Instagram influencers, according to the Guardian.
It has been alleged that some influencers on social media platform Instagram have been posting content that is paid-for and sponsored by brands, advertising their products, without informing their audience. The problem of reportedly hidden advertising is a huge concern for the CMA, and they have said more needs to be done by the owners of social media platforms to tackle the problem.
It is a requirement for Instagram influencers to mark their posts with #AD or #advert and make it clear they have been sponsored by a specific brand or organisation. If they do not, they could violate the UK consumer protection law and potentially be misleading customers.
First published by Author on December 15, 2020 in the following categories: Advertising Consumer Law Industry Investigations Latest Pricing Selling Restrictions and tagged with advertising | cma | competition law | consumer law | investigations | musical instruments | pricing
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.
First published by Author on September 03, 2020 in the following categories: Advertising Incentives Industry Pricing Selling Restrictions Travel and Holidays and tagged with advertising | cma | competition law | investigations | market study | pricing | travel
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) continues to monitor pricing practices and behaviours for booking hotels online.
Since the completion of their investigations in 2015 into the sector, they have been actively engaged in monitoring developments. As an important sector to keep track of, their work – and that of their European competition counterparts – is clearly important.
Here is some information about the CMA’s latest publication of their work in this sector, and a brief background of the preceding events.
First published by Author on November 05, 2019 in the following categories: Advertising Consumer Law Industry Pricing Selling Restrictions and tagged with advertising | cma | competition law | investigations | market study | pricing
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.
First published by Author on October 23, 2019 in the following categories: Advertising Consumer Law and tagged with advertising | cma | comparison sites | competition law | investigations | market abuse
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.