Expert legal advice from the competition lawyers

Tag: advertising

CMA finds anti-competitive practices in Digital pianos, digital keyboards and guitars sector

First published by Matt 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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Booking hotels online: CMA continues to monitor practices and behaviour

First published by Matt on September 03, 2020 in the following categories: Advertising Incentives Industry Pricing Selling Restrictions Travel and Holidays and tagged with | | | | | |

consumers stung by bogus holiday deals

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.

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Most favoured nation clauses in price comparison websites sector

First published by Matt on November 05, 2019 in the following categories: Advertising Consumer Law Industry Pricing Selling Restrictions and tagged with | | | | |

online advertising

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.

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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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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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Online platforms and digital advertising market study launched

First published by Matt on July 18, 2019 in the following categories: Advertising Investigations and tagged with | | |

online advertising

This month, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has confirmed that a market study has been launched into online platforms and digital advertising.

The CMA has cited their duty to protect consumers in what is a huge and growing digital economy. They want to ensure there’s healthy competition, and ensure that big players in the market are not abusing their powers for their own advantage.

Invitations for comment have been issued with a deadline for responses set for the end of this month.

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Viagogo court case steps up

First published by Matt on July 11, 2019 in the following categories: Advertising Industry Investigations Latest Pricing Selling Restrictions and tagged with | | | | | |

live event

The ongoing Viagogo court case between the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the secondary ticketing website is about to step up.

The CMA are reportedly moving ahead with contempt of court proceedings on the basis that they say Viagogo is still failing to adhere to a court order obtained earlier this year.

This is huge news, and it’s alarming to hear that the CMA considers that the ticketing resellers are still failing to comply with a court order. Following a market sector review, a number of firms changed their behaviours, but it appears that Viagogo isn’t fully complying.

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Investment consultants investigation concludes

First published by Matt on June 20, 2019 in the following categories: Industry Investigations and tagged with | | |

investigation into retail banking competition

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has issued a final order in the investment consultants investigation that’s been ongoing since 2017.

The final step in the reforms that the CMA has been pushing forward has been put in place with the aim or improving the sector on the whole. Clearer information is now to be provided for customers who can enjoy better knowledge about the value for money they can get. There are also greater incentives for pension scheme trustees to shop around for better deals.

The aim, of course, is to ensure that consumers can get best value for their money. The order made is legally-binding, and is designed to ensure that pension trustees make better decisions for the retirement assets they manage.

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Short-term car lease market review concludes

First published by Matt on April 25, 2019 in the following categories: Advertising Industry Pricing and tagged with | | |

car rental sites

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been looking into the short-term car lease market since last year, and the investigations have now come to a head.

Last month, the review into the practises of five major car rental companies came to a conclusion. The review had been conducted by the EU Consumer Protection Co-operation Network, which is coordinated by the CMA. Big-name firms have previously agreed to undertakings, and further changes to online booking processes are now set be made.

The review has been a follow-on from the big 2015 action involving Avis-Budget, Enterprise, Europcar, Hertz and Six. Regulators considered that more could still be done to ensure that some EU-facing websites were complaint with important consumer laws.

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Further action set for the CMA’s secondary ticketing and Viagogo case?

First published by Matt on April 10, 2019 in the following categories: Investigations Latest and tagged with | | |

live event

There’s more news in the Competition and Market Authority’s (CMA) secondary ticketing and Viagogo case. And it could be huge.

You may recall that we’ve been tracking this case for a while now. At the start of 2019, a Viagogo, StubHub and Ticketmaster were all required to undertake serious changes to their business behaviour. This came in to effect as of midnight on 17th January 2019.

However, the CMA conducted some simple checks on 24th January 2019. They say that they found that Viagogo had failed to comply with the court order against them. Now, Viagogo is potentially facing further legal action for contempt of court.

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