Competition & Markets Authority
Cartels exploiting cost-of-living crisis will face action, warns CMA
The CMA’s most senior enforcer has warned that anyone looking to exploit the cost-of-living crisis by forming cartels risk robust enforcement action, including possible dawn raids.
In a speech recently (11 May 2022) Michael Grenfell, Executive Director of enforcement at the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), said the cost-of-living crisis would have a ‘huge impact’ on consumers but that competition was key to minimising that impact.
He added that:
We will tackle anti-competitive practices and transactions that unnecessarily raise prices. We will not allow cartelists to treat the current economic circumstances as an excuse for anti-competitive collusion that makes things worse for consumers. The dawn raids we have launched already this year should serve as a signal of our intent.
He also said that the CMA will continue to crack down on unfair practices such as subscription traps ‘that make things worse’.
We have already used our consumer protection law powers to address the practice of subscription traps – the way suppliers make it harder for consumers who have signed up to a subscription subsequently to be free of it, especially as prices rise – and have secured improvements in the terms and conditions for subscriptions to anti-virus software and to online video games.
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