New reforms to tackle cartels ahead of decision on whether to progress estate agency case

New reforms have been proposed to tackle industry practice with the competition watchdog’s own timetable on a suspected estate agency cartel close to running out of time.

The Competition and Markets Authority last year said that it would decide in, or by the end of, this month, whether to take its investigation forward to formal status.

It promised a “further update by the end of February 2019”.

It is almost a year since the CMA first made an announcement about its investigation.

There has been no information, other than that the probe was launched on the basis of information received following the Burnham-on-Sea case in 2013, when a number of agents were fined a total of £370,084 after agreeing to fix their commission rates.

Yesterday, the CMA announced proposals to intervene earlier and more robustly in cases where companies do not play by the rules, disadvantaging rivals and consumers.

It called for:

  • a new statutory duty on the CMA, and courts applying competition and consumer laws, to treat the interests of consumers, and their protection from detriment, as paramount
  • a new statutory duty on the CMA to conduct its investigations quickly, supported by powers to take action against firms supplying misleading or false information
  • a statutory responsibility to address the adverse effect on the consumer in all aspects of the CMA’s markets work
Homesearch EOS
x

Email the story to a friend



4 Comments

  1. Chris Wood

    a new statutory duty on the CMA, and courts applying competition and consumer laws, to treat the interests of consumers, and their protection from detriment, as paramount
    a new statutory duty on the CMA to conduct its investigations quickly, supported by powers to take action against firms supplying misleading or false information
    a statutory responsibility to address the adverse effect on the consumer in all aspects of the CMA’s markets work

    Encouraging words. Let’s hope we finally see some action.

    Report
    1. whodis123

      Sadly I doubt that we will, Chris.

      Report
  2. Thomas Flowers

    Perhaps agents could naturally increase their fees 10% plus per year in line with a certain provider who it appears does not hold a cartel-like charging status?

    Why don’t traditional agents secretly withdraw no sale, no fee and hide a 50% ‘administration’ fee in the small print if completion does not take place payable immediately upon withdrawal?

    Then, how about challenging and removing some reviews who felt they had been misled by charges as they did not realise they had to pay regardless?

    Just joking! The regulators would never allow this…..would they?

    Report
  3. GPL

     

    I love the idea that Estate Agents can actually get on together?

    Surely some kind of Awards Ceremony for this?

    …….and the Award for Bestest Estate Agency Buddies Ever goes to……?

     

     

     

     

    Report
X

You must be logged in to report this comment!

Comments are closed.

Thank you for signing up to our newsletter, we have sent you an email asking you to confirm your subscription. Additionally if you would like to create a free EYE account which allows you to comment on news stories and manage your email subscriptions please enter a password below.