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Vendors could claim against agents in illegal cartel scheme, says CMA

fIXFLO news story

Vendors who lost money due to agents illegally price-fixing their commissions may be able to claim compensation, the Competition and Markets Authority has said.

The agents, in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, colluded to set a commission rate of 1.5%.

Four agents – Greenslade Taylor Hunt, Abbott and Frost, Gary Berryman Estate Agents and its parent company Warne Investments, and West Coast Property Services – were fined a total of £372,233.

All four admitted price fixing and co-operated with the CMA investigation.

A fifth agent, Annagram Estate Agents trading as CJ Hole, was not fined after its very early co-operation, and a sixth agent, Saxons PS, is still being investigated.

Now a CMA spokesperson, Rebecca Cassar, has told the local news service: “Once the CMA has issued a final decision, any members of the public that have lost out would be able to rely on the decision to prove the breach of competition law and seek compensation from the businesses concerned, if necessary by taking court action.

“The price-fixing agreement which the estate agents have admitted started in February 2014 and lasted just over a year.”


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