The Competition and Markets Authority has set out precisely what agents and other companies can and cannot do in the event of any discussion about commercially sensitive information on current and intended fees and pricing.
Following the recent estate agent cartel news, Syedur Rahman and Nicola Sharp, of award-winning business crime solicitors Rahman Ravelli, explain why businesses must take care not to become involved in cartel behaviour.
The Competition and Markets Authority has for the first time published details of the findings against a group of six estate agencies which fixed commission rates.
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.
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”.
The Competitions and Markets Authority - which earlier this year fined an estate agency trade group £735,000 - has set out its most comprehensive statement yet on how it approaches the issues of cartels and anti-competitive practices.
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