Competition watchdog launches new ‘compete not cheat’ campaign citing estate agents’ cartel

The competition watchdog has launched a new campaign urging firms to ‘compete not cheat’.

The Competition and Markets Authority is citing the estate agency sector in the new campaign, designed to crack down on illegal cartels.

The CMA specifically mentions the agents in Berkshire who were fined last year for fixing minimum commission fees.

The CMA is inviting firms to visit its ‘cheating or competing?’ page where it features the Berkshire cartel as a case study, and has reiterated its advice to agents.

The advice is not new, but repeats its call for anyone suspecting a cartel involving other agents to tell the CMA, and if they suspect they themselves may have taken part in one, to confess with the possible carrot of leniency.

The CMA’s advice to agents includes not discussing what you or your competitors intend to charge. If even two competitors participate in an anti-competitive agreement, this is illegal, says the CMA.

https://cheatingorcompeting.campaign.gov.uk/

https://www.gov.uk/government/case-studies/estate-agents-fined-over-600000-for-illegal-price-fixing

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3 Comments

  1. Robert_May

    Bit ironic?  it was the CMA that allowed four competing portals to become a duopoly which, as predicted in October 2011 when the merger of the DMGT portals with Zoopla was announced, removed all competitive restraints on portal subscriptions.

     

    To put that short-sightedness into context; had agents’ commissions risen at the same rate as portal subs, the 1.8% (inc vat) average in 2011 would have risen to 3.7%.

     

     

     

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  2. 70GJ

    Robert always impresses me with well informed posts. Is rummage4 up and running yet?

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    1. Robert_May

       Yes, I took the Google hide off rummage4property on Friday afternoon.
       
      (The Rightmove market cap was £6.01b)
       

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