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Coronavirus – CMA issues Taskforce update - UK

  • United Kingdom
  • Commercial and IT
  • Coronavirus - Country overview
  • Consumer

04-06-2020

On 21 May 2020, the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) released an update on its COVID-19 Taskforce (the “Taskforce”), which was created to identify, monitor and respond to competition and consumer-related issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The on-going need for the Taskforce highlights the importance of businesses continuing to comply with consumer legislation and ensure they are dealing fairly with consumers.

The Taskforce has been asking the public for information about businesses behaving unfairly, with two principal areas of concern being:

1)    cancellations and refunds

2)    charging unjustifiably high prices

Taskforce update – key takeaways

In addition, the Taskforce has launched a programme of work to investigate whether companies are breaking the law.

The key takeaways from the update are:

  • the Taskforce continues to focus its investigation on three principal sectors: holiday accommodation, weddings and events and nurseries
  • in addition, package holidays have now been included in the scope of the Taskforce investigation
  • the CMA has been contacted more than 60,000 times concerning COVID-19 related issues
  • three quarters of the complaints related to cancellations and refunds
  • the CMA is of the view that there continues to be a significant risk that prices are raised above justifiable levels for essential products, due to the ongoing restrictions placed on businesses and individuals

The CMA update is available in full here.

For more information on your obligations under consumer protection legislation, our consumer law team would be happy to assist you.