The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has provisionally found that the companies – Michael Hardy, Prospect, Richard Worth, and Romans – broke competition law by taking part in a price-fixing cartel where members set minimum levels of commission fees for the sale of residential properties. The alleged cartel took place in the Berkshire area from at least September 2008 and lasted for almost 7 years.
The result of such price-fixing was that homeowners may have been denied the chance of securing the best possible deal when selling their properties, as they were unable to shop around all of their local agents for better rates.
Howard Cartlidge, Senior Director, Cartels, said, “Estate agents who conspire to set minimum commission rates are cheating homeowners and breaking the law. Where we find evidence that this is happening, we will not hesitate to take action to protect people selling their home.”