Competitive behaviour

  12 May 2014

Government departments get renamed and revamped every few years. I think it’s an unwritten rule for any political party in power.

 One renaming and revamping that may have passed you by is the joining of the Competition Commission and the Office of Fair Trading to become the CMA, or the Competition and Markets Authority for long. Last week I had a chat to this new body and there is a reason why motor retailers shouldn’t ignore this new department.

You may remember that last year, the OFT decided that the way Mercedes-Benz and a few of its commercial vehicle retailers shared commercially sensitive information about their market and prices was unfair to consumers. As a result the body imposed a fine of £2.85 million on the businesses concerned.

It may have taken the CMA a year to talk about it, but the department is now very keen to publicise this fine because they think there could be more examples within the retail motor industry. So, consider yourself warned. And, as the CMA point out, it’s worth remembering that whistle-blowers will suffer the least if a fine is imposed.

 Tristan Young

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