Expert legal advice from the competition lawyers

Tag: consumer law

CMA investigation into suspected anti-competitive pharmaceuticals agreements

First published by Author on January 05, 2022 in the following categories: Healthcare Industry Investigations Price Fixing Price Hikes Pricing and tagged with | | | | | | |

liothyronine tablets investigation

In late 2017, the CMA released a statement announcing that it had begun an investigation into suspected anti-competitive pharmaceuticals agreements between “various parties”.

The pharmaceutical companies under review were kept anonymous until 2019. Then, according to the CMA, they alleged that Alliance Pharmaceuticals, Focus, Lexon, and Medreich had reportedly made agreements to not compete in regard to supplying anti-nausea drug Prochlorperazine.

In January, the CMA published an update regarding their investigation, which was set to conclude in Autumn 2021. As the case approaches its end, we look back at investigation so far and assess the potential damage the anti-competitive agreements may have caused.

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Digital Markets Taskforce

First published by Author on December 01, 2021 in the following categories: Advertising Consumer Law Digital Industry Latest and tagged with | | | |

car rental sites

Many businesses have made great leaps in their development due to technology, and the CMA’s (Competition and Markets Authority) Digital Markets Taskforce was created to investigate how competition could be regulated in a way befitting of the digital age. Asked by the government to carry out an advisory report, the CMA look to have made good on this goal, having published their findings and recommendations in December last year.

The revamped approach to digital firms will hopefully promote fair competition and reaffirm the rights of consumers, two of the key principles that must be there to ensure for fair competition. Both can be essential to ensuring a level playing field, and any failure in respect of these principles could constitute a breach of competition law. Breaches of competition law can often be very bad for the consumer, so the work of the CMA and other regulators is vital.

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CMA investigates COVID-19 package holiday cancellations

First published by Author on August 04, 2021 in the following categories: Consumer Law Covid-19 Industry Investigations Latest Travel and Holidays and tagged with | | | | | | |

COVID-19 package holiday cancellations

In March 2020, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced its launch of a taskforce to tackle the challenges faced by businesses and consumers during the coronavirus pandemic. As part of the taskforce, the CMA later launched an investigation into COVID-19 package holiday cancellations, which has now been ongoing since last summer.

The decision to launch the investigation was made by the CMA following reports that some package holiday providers had been withholding refunds, despite the fact customers were forced to cancel holidays due to lockdown restrictions either within the UK or abroad.

In our eyes, no customer could have foreseen the coronavirus pandemic, and it is important that consumers are protected in these exceptional circumstances. We hope that the CMA’s continued pressure on the travel industry will ensure that all customers receive the refunds that they could be entitled to.

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CMA launches children’s social care study

First published by Author on June 02, 2021 in the following categories: Consumer Law Industry Investigations Latest Pricing and tagged with | | |

Education

In March, the CMA announced its intention to begin a children’s social care study in an effort to understand the rising costs of care and lack of supply reportedly affecting the sector. The review is only a preliminary step, but it could lead to future recommendations or, potentially, a full investigation into social care.

The announcement is said to have come following concerns from other organisations, which have raised the issue of private sector provision of social care and the high profits these private providers may be reaping. In January, Josh MacAlister, chair of the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care in England, wrote to the CMA asking for the social care market to be investigated.

There is no evidence to suggest that the CMA is looking into anti-competitive practices in children’s social care, or breaches of competition law. Instead, the CMA is investigating how profit-driven companies may be affecting the provision of appropriate placements for children.

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Suspected breach of consumer protection law on secondary ticketing websites

First published by Author on March 10, 2021 in the following categories: Advertising Consumer Law Industry Investigations and tagged with | | |

cma ticket investigation

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.

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CMA funerals investigation update

First published by Author on February 10, 2021 in the following categories: Consumer Law Industry Investigations Latest Pricing and tagged with | | | | |

markets

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is carrying out a market investigation into the supply of services by funeral directors at the point of need, and the supply of crematoria services also. This article is a CMA funerals investigation update.

On the 16th March 2020, the CMA announced their decision to extend the statutory deadline for this investigation by six months. The new deadline for this investigation is now currently set as 27th March 2021, with all submissions until June 2020 being taken into account.

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The CMA review ‘hidden advertising’ by Instagram influencers

First published by Author on January 19, 2021 in the following categories: Advertising Consumer Law Investigations and tagged with | | |

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.

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

First published by Author 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 Author 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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Ofwat price determinations case

First published by Author 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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