Competition and Markets Authority 2016 will be a very interesting year for CMA in all facets of competition within the property industry
The Competition and Markets Authority keeps an eye on all things, collusion, price fixing cartel sponsorship and dividing sharing markets.
CMA has many cases open, including an investigation into estate agency services including cartels.
Other investigations include fake reviews of businesses, pseudo sponsorship, online sales, and paid-for advertorials. New cases have opened in the past couple of months.
The CMA, which last year fined a ‘cartel’ of high street agents, their membership body and a local newspaper in Hampshire a total of £775,000, also signaled in an interview with the Financial Times, that it will raise the level of fines.
The CM can conduct both civil and criminal investigations, and has started to pick up speed on both civil cases and corporate .
It has power to fine companies 10% of their global revenue.
It also has the power to disqualify directors.
Alex Chisholm , who has led the CMA since launch, : “Over the course of 2016, we want to see a big step-up in the scale and impact of our enforcement activity.”
Zoopla UK second largest property search site has seen a volatile trading year , onthemarket.com [OTM]was set up to destabilise the two dominant portals by corporate london based high street estate agents , Zoopla and Rightmove both allow online estate agents to list with the exception of onthemarket.com. This is having a negative impact on the property industry , as the public sentiment grows with many choosing fixed fee online estate agents. If the property Portal zoopla continues falling in market value, it could have major implications ,with the CMA involvement
Emoov CEO Russel Quirk discusses the launch of OTM in 2015
CMA has warned that agents must not collude in deciding which portals to use or drop – in other words, warning that a collectively organised boycott could breach competition law.