Expert legal advice from the competition lawyers

Tag: incentives

CMA investigates fake online reviews on Amazon and Google sites

First published by Author on May 05, 2022 in the following categories: Consumer Law Digital Industry Investigations and tagged with | | | | | |

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.

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Loyalty penalty investigation: the latest

First published by Author 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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Investment consultants investigation concludes

First published by Author 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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End of contract alerts to be initiated in the UK

First published by Author on May 15, 2019 in the following categories: Industry Latest Pricing and tagged with | |

investigation into retail banking competition

We welcome the move to enforce end of contract alerts, which is set to put the consumer firmly back behind the steering wheel when it comes to their contracts for key services.

From February 2020, broadband, phone and TV companies will have to notify their customers when they’re close to the expiry date of their contract. They’ll also have to provide information about pricing and better deals they can offer, as well as clearer information about how to cancel.

The move is aimed to stop consumers aimlessly walking into new contracts and not knowing when their current term has elapsed. This ties in with  the loyalty penalty super complaint, and is designed to make sure the consumer is put first.

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Online hotel booking investigation update

First published by Author on March 07, 2019 in the following categories: Advertising Industry Pricing and tagged with | | | | | |

consumers stung by bogus holiday deals

Here’s the latest in the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) online hotel booking investigation that has been focused on consumer law compliance.

The initial investigation was launched back in October 2017, with enforcement action taken in June 2018. It’s an important one given the breadth of the online hotel booking market, and how confusing it can be. Competition in this key sector should always be healthy, and any infringements of the law cannot go unpunished.

We’re pleased to see that the latest developments in the online hotel booking investigation has seen undertakings agreed by numerous parties involved.

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Crackdown after social media influencer investigation

First published by Author on February 08, 2019 in the following categories: Incentives Investigations Latest Selling Restrictions and tagged with | | | |

f1 investigation

A crackdown has been launched after a social media influencer investigation raised concerns that some product endorsements may be breaching vital competition law.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has reportedly written to a number of high-profile celebrities about their social media influencing habits. As a result of the warning letters, some social medial influencers have promised to clearly state if they’re being rewarded for endorsing products. Among those who have made the formal commitments are singers Rita Ora and Ellie Goulding.

We welcome this move and the cooperation of those involved so far.

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Loyalty penalty CMA investigation concludes

First published by Author on December 21, 2018 in the following categories: Industry Investigations Price Hikes Pricing and tagged with | | | | |

car rental sites

The massive loyalty penalty CMA investigation – deemed a ‘super complaint’ – has resulted in a set of reforms to stop the issue affecting people.

The investigation found “damaging practices by firms, which exploit unsuspecting customers”. This issue is estimated to equate to a cost to the consumer in the region of £4bn per year. There are thought to be millions of people affected by loyalty penalties.

The loyalty penalty CMA investigation looked at five markets: savings; insurance; mortgages; mobile phone contracts; and broadband. New regulatory rules are set to be introduced to stamp out the loyalty penalty endemic.

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The CMA statutory audit market investigation

First published by Author on November 16, 2018 in the following categories: Investigations Latest and tagged with | |

The CMA’s (Competition and Markets Authority) statutory audit market investigation was launched last month.

A number of key issues are being looked into by the CMA to make sure that the market is working fairly and efficiently. Comments on the key issues are being invited, and a statutory deadline has been applied to the investigation.

It’s early days, with the investigation only being launched last month. It’s another important one for us to keep an eye on as lawyers who fight for competition to be fair and consumer-focused!

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UK pharmaceutical companies paying millions of pounds to healthcare professionals

First published by Author on April 13, 2018 in the following categories: Incentives and tagged with | |

pharmaceutical companies pay millions of pounds to healthcare professionals

According to a report from The Times newspaper, UK pharmaceutical companies are reportedly paying millions of pounds to healthcare professionals and other organisations.

American pharmaceutical companies have previously come under fire for reportedly paying healthcare professionals to push their products, and it now appears the UK may have the same problem.

According to The Times, two of the biggest pharmaceutical players in the UK have been making “secret payments” of almost £20 million to reportedly “plug” their products.
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