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The CMA has sent out letters to a number of estate and lettings agents warning that they may be at risk of breaking competition law. This follows the recent case where the CMA fined an association of estate and lettings agents, three of its members and a newspaper publisher over £735,000 for agreeing to restrict the advertising of fees or discounts in a local newspaper. In light of this case, the CMA has sent warning letters to a number of estate and lettings agents that it has reasonable grounds for suspecting have been involved in anti-competitive agreements to restrict the advertising of fees. Separately, the CMA has received complaints that other associations of estate agents and local newspapers may be engaging in similar practices, and is considering whether to take further action. Click here.
The CMA has referred BT Group plc’s anticipated acquisition of EE Limited for an in-depth phase 2 investigation under the fast track procedure. The CMA has found that the transaction meets the test for reference in that it gives rise to a realistic prospect of a substantial lessening of competition in relation to the supply of wholesale access and call origination services to mobile virtual network operators and fibre mobile backhaul services to mobile network operators in the UK. It has therefore decided that it is appropriate to proceed with a fast track reference of the merger to phase 2. Click here.