Expert legal advice from the competition lawyers

Tag: competition law

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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Review of the Legal Services Market

First published by Matt 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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CMA launch investigation into the supply of lithium-based medication

First published by Matt on October 15, 2020 in the following categories: Healthcare Industry Investigations and tagged with | | |

liothyronine tablets investigation

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched an investigation into the supply of lithium-based medication, used to treat bipolar disorder.

The CMA has announced the investigation will look into prominent pharmaceutical company, Essential Pharma. They are suspected to have abused an alleged dominant position as a medication supplier by proposing to withdraw the supply of lithium-based medication to UK patients.

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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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Hand sanitiser pricing under regulatory review

First published by Matt 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 Matt 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 Matt 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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Berkshire residential estate agents competition case

First published by Matt on February 12, 2020 in the following categories: Cartels Latest Price Fixing Price Hikes Pricing and tagged with | | | | |

estate agents guilty of price fixing

Here’s the latest news involving the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) investigation into alleged competition infringements involving Berkshire residential estate agents.

The investigation was launched in early 2018 on the basis that the CMA suspected that there may be infringements of important competition law. In June last year, the CMA issued a formal statement of objections to four estate agents with allegations of breaches, and a settlement was reached with two agents in October. More fines were then issued at the end of last year.

In the often-volatile property market, competition law breaches that leave buyers and sellers paying more simply cannot go unpunished.

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CMA issue substantial Fender competition breach fine

First published by Matt on January 30, 2020 in the following categories: Price Fixing Price Hikes Pricing Selling Restrictions and tagged with | | |

musical instruments investigation

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has issued a substantial Fender competition breach fine in the sum of £4.5m.

The fine has been issued almost two years after an investigation into the prominent guitar maker was opened. In its ruling, the CMA has confirmed that Fender has admitted to breaking competition law by restricting prices for UK retailers. The fine that has been issued is therefore subject to the CMA’s leniency and cooperation protocols, which can see penalties reduced.

This is a key ruling given the size of this growing market and the fact that Fender is one of the major players in the sector.

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Roll-over contracts for online gaming investigation

First published by Matt on January 15, 2020 in the following categories: Consumer Law Industry Investigations and tagged with | | | |

Online Gaming

Last April, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) initiated an investigation into roll-over contracts for online gaming.

The online gaming sector has grown exponentially in recent years, with at least one console a staple in most modern houses these days, I would assume. The monetisation of online gaming has led to more purchase options for the consumer, so the costs of being involved in online gaming is something that should be carefully considered.

In the same way that the CMA has been looking into contract factors for things like broadband and telecommunications, they’re also keen to know if the online gaming sector is being fair. As this is just the initial investigation stage, no assumptions are being made as to whether important laws are being broken or not.

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