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UK Antitrust Watchdog Threatens Groupon With Court Action

 |  August 9, 2021

The UK’s competition watchdog has threatened Groupon with court action if the deals site does not quickly “improve its treatment of customers.” 

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced on Monday, August 9, that an investigation into Groupon has found evidence the website – which offers everything from garden furniture to discounted haircuts and experience days – does not always give customers cash refunds, seeing some instead as “only offered Groupon credits.” 

The regulator also stated that it has concerns the company is failing to deliver all its products within the timeframes it advertises, and is failing to ensure that its descriptions of its offerings are accurate. 

The CMA also stated it is concerned Groupon is not making sure the goods it sells “are of a satisfactory quality.”

CMA chief executive, Andrea Coscelli, said, “More people than ever are shopping online, especially over the last year. It is therefore essential that online businesses treat customers fairly and refund them money where due under consumer law. 

“Groupon must swiftly step up and do right by its customers if it wants to avoid court action.”

It is not the first time the CMA – formerly known as the Office of Fair Trading – has probed Groupon. The first was in 2012, when the OFT raised concerns about “unfair and misleading pricing practices.”

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