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UK: Online retailer hit with six-figure fine for participation in online cartel

 |  August 16, 2016

The Competition and Markets Authority fined Birmingham-based Trod, trading as Buy 4 Less, Buy For Less and Buy-For-Less-Online, £163,371 for breaching UK competition laws that prohibit agreements, practices and conduct that have as their object or effect the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition and which may affect trade within the UK.

The CMA’s investigation found that Trod had agreed with another UK business, GB Posters, that they would “not undercut each other’s prices for posters and frames sold on Amazon’s UK website” for a period of more than four years. GB Posters did not receive a fine for its participation in the cartel as it had reported the wrongdoing to the CMA and received immunity under the CMA’s leniency programme. Trod also benefited from a reduction of 20% in its fine under the leniency programme after it admitted to the breach and cooperated with the regulator’s investigation.

The CMA said last month that Trod and GB Posters had engaged in cartel activity “by using automated repricing software which the parties each configured”.

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