Estate agents, including employees, are among those being offered up to £100,000 to blow the whistle on illegal cartels.
Making the announcement this morning, the Competition and Markets Authority said it is launching its first advertising campaign to crack down on cartels.
The Competition and Markets Authority says there is no time to undertake a review into the lettings market and the role of letting agents’ fees, according to the Fair Fees Forum.
A major crackdown on cartels in being launched by competition authorities after a rise in illegal business practices such as price fixing.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched its first ever public campaign in a bid to clamp down on activity which distorts competition within industries and often leads to consumers paying more than they might have done in a completely open market.
A group of estate agents who admitted taking part in an illegal cartel are to pay fines totalling up to £372,233.
One of the agents is to pay almost £190,000 and another nearly £100,000.
The overall sum includes a discount because of the four agents’ admissions and their co-operation with the Competition and Markets Authority’s investigation into price-fixing.
A fine of £735,000 imposed on an association of estate and letting agents and a local newspaper publisher has been described as “comparatively small”.
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A London agency has quit OnTheMarket and Agents’ Mutual as a result of the intervention of the Competitions and Markets Authority.
Ns Suthakaran, the manager director of Karan Fossils agency in Acton, west London has written an open letter addressed to OnTheMarket chief executive Ian Springett; it is in response to a letter from Springett to OTM members on April 21, following the Competition and Market Authority intervention.
Hundreds of estate agents have turned against the challenger property portal OnTheMarket a year after it launched, as they prepare to ditch the start-up following a row about fees.
OnTheMarket was set up last year to disrupt the home sales process by offering a cheaper alternative to agents looking to list their properties. It aimed to wrest control from the two market leaders, Rightmove and Zoopla, by allowing estate agents to list homes on only one other major competitor.
But its relationship with many of its agents appears to have rapidly soured.
Challenger property portal OnTheMarket faces a further blow after the competition regulator warned estate agents against colluding to join the site and remove their business from the two market leaders, Rightmove and Zoopla.
The Competition and Markets Authority has written to agents to highlight that such behaviour could result in “significant fines”.
Anyone with even a passing interest in technology and its history could have predicted this one: just as the Luddites were eventually overwhelmed by power looms, online property portal OnTheMarket was destined to stumble.
Open letter to estate agents about their obligations under competition law when choosing online property portals to advertise their properties.
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