Breaking News: CMA MI investigation – no decision until Spring 2019
Results of the controversial investigation by the Government’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) into possible anti-competitive activity in the musical instrument industry will not be announced until Spring 2019 at the earliest, the CMA has revealed today.
In a statement, the CMA says: ‘This investigation is at an early stage and no assumptions should be made that competition law has been infringed. The CMA has not reached a view on whether there is sufficient evidence of an infringement of competition law for it to issue a statement of objections to any of the parties under investigation. Not all cases result in the CMA issuing a statement of objections. Further detail of the CMA’s procedures in antitrust cases is available in our guidance.
‘As a result, it would not be appropriate at present to include any further estimates of the timing of any later investigative steps at this stage.’
The statement goes on to say that the CMA estimates it will be Spring 2019 before it will make a ‘decision on whether to issue a statement of objections.’
The investigations, which began in Spring 2018, have continued until this autumn, the CMA claims, and have included: ‘Initial investigation: information gathering, including issue of formal or informal information requests to parties. CMA analysis and review of information gathered. State of play meetings with parties under investigation’
However, MIN has received reports that some retailers have been receiving extremely detailed enquiries about the pricing of certain MI products in recent weeks, posed by members of the public claiming to be bona fide customers but, according to one source, ‘…acting more like secret shoppers.’
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