Expert legal advice from the competition lawyers

Tag: investigations

Final report published by CMA on funerals competition investigation

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 | | | | |

double glazing

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.

read more


Precast concrete drainage cartel – appeal denied

First published by Author on September 08, 2021 in the following categories: Cartels Market Sharing Price Fixing Price Hikes Pricing and tagged with | | | | | |

construction

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has previously confirmed the denial of an appeal made by FP McCann Ltd, a company understood to be involved in an alleged precast concrete drainage cartel, who reportedly sought to evade the £2.5m issued to them for their reported infringement of competition law.

The earlier update with regards to the cartel investigation marks an end to the four-year legal case. It is understood that several companies had previously either admitted to their illegal practice or accepted penalties, while FP McCann lodged an appeal in December 2019 with the hope that the ruling would be overturned.

The CMA’s final decision looks to mark a victory for businesses and consumers across the UK, setting an example that any form of illegal price-fixing and collusion will not be tolerated by the watchdog.

read more


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.

read more


Suspected anti-competition arrangements in the financial services sector

First published by Author on July 07, 2021 in the following categories: Cartels Compensation Claims Industry Investigations Price Fixing Pricing and tagged with | | | | | |

finance and credit cards

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the government body that regulates business competition in the UK, previously published an update with regards to its investigation into the financial services sector relating to alleged suspected anti-competition arrangements.

The update followed the UK government’s declaration of a post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union, with the CMA announcing that the investigation will continue beyond the conclusion of the exit transition period. Previously, the investigation was also seeking to ascertain whether an infringement of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) had occurred, but now it will proceed in respect of UK competition law, solely investigating the possibility of a breach of the Competition Act 1998 (CA98).

read more


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.

read more


CMA launches Apple App Store investigation over alleged anti-competitive behaviour

First published by Author on May 05, 2021 in the following categories: Industry Investigations Latest Market Dominance Abuse and tagged with | |

Apple App Store investigation

At the beginning of March, the CMA announced that it had launched an Apple App Store investigation over allegations that the company has been imposing unfair terms and conditions on developers looking to sell their apps via the App Store.

The App Store is the only means by which iPhone and iPad users can download third-party apps to devices, meaning Apple can control the ways in which all apps are distributed. As this is only the beginning of the investigation, the CMA has highlighted that this is not yet a confirmation that Apple has breached competition law.

It comes after two antitrust investigations by the European Commission into Apple were launched last June, one of which also concerned the App Store and the limits it places on app developers. The other is related to Apple Pay, and similarly raises the issue that other mobile payment services cannot be used on iPhones.

read more


The CMA’s Nortriptyline investigation

First published by Author on April 14, 2021 in the following categories: Consumer Law Healthcare Industry Investigations and tagged with | | |

Nortriptyline investigation

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has issued fines as a result of their nortriptyline investigation. Nortriptyline is an unbranded, prescription-only generic medicine used for the relief of symptoms of depression. In some cases, it can be used to treat neuropathic pain and nocturnal enuresis (bed-wetting).

The CMA has recently issued decisions imposing fines on suppliers of nortriptyline tablets for reportedly breaching competition law after their nortriptyline investigation concluded. There have also been director disqualifications.

read more


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.

read more


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.

read more


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.

read more