The CMA has concluded that 5 model agencies and their trade association have breached Chapter I of the CA98 and Article 101 TFEU, and imposed penalties totalling £1,533,500.
Case reference: CE/9859-14
|27 March 2017||Publication of non-confidential version of infringement decision|
|16 December 2016||Infringement decision issued|
|October to December 2016||Consideration of parties’ representations; decision on case outcome; preparation of infringement decision|
|November 2016||Oral hearing with the parties on the draft penalty statements|
|September to November 2016||Period for written representations on the draft penalty statements|
|27 September 2016||Draft penalty statements issued|
|July to September 2016||Receipt and consideration of written representations on the statement of objections|
|May 2016||Statement of objections issued|
|April to May 2016||Assessing evidence and considering next steps (further update by end of June)|
|March 2016||Concluded main investigation|
|October 2015||Decision taken to proceed with the investigation|
|March to September 2015||Initial investigation: information gathering, including issuance of formal or informal information requests and parties’ responses|
|24 March 2015||Investigation opened|
The following changes have been made to the case timetable since it was first published in March 2015:
|Date of change||Reason for change||Change made to timetable|
|25 May 2016||Assessment of evidence completed ahead of schedule||End date for assessing evidence and considering next steps changed from June 2016 to May 2016|
Follow-up compliance work
12 September 2017: The CMA has written an open letter to businesses in the creative industries, warning them about breaking competition law.
Research done by the CMA has shown that businesses in the creative sector have a particularly low understanding of competition law. This open letter, highlighting the modelling sector case, is to raise awareness of the consequences of colluding instead of competing on price.
The CMA has also written to a number of businesses in the fashion sector to remind them of their obligations under competition law.
- Press release: CMA warns creative sector about illegal price collusion (12.9.17)
Non-confidential infringement decision
27 March 2017: The CMA has published a non-confidential version of the decision in this case.
16 December 2016: The CMA issued a decision finding that 5 model agencies - FM Models, Models 1, Premier, Storm and Viva - and their trade association, the AMA, breached Chapter I of the Competition Act 1998 (CA98) and Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), and imposing penalties totalling £1,533,500.
- Press release: Model agencies fined £1.5 million for price collusion (16.12.16)
Procedural Officer decision
16 December 2016: The CMA has published a Procedural Officer decision concerning the investigation.
Statement of objections
25 May 2016: The CMA issued a statement of objections (SO) alleging that 5 agencies for fashion models and their trade association, the Association of Model Agents (AMA), have breached UK and EU competition law.
In its SO, the CMA alleges that, from April 2013 to March 2015, FM Models, Models 1, Premier, Storm and Viva agreed to exchange confidential, competitively sensitive information, including future pricing information, and in some instances agreed a common approach to pricing. The CMA alleges that the AMA was also a party to the breach and that it played an important role in aspects of the alleged infringement.
- Press release: Model agencies and trade association alleged to have broken competition law (25.5.16)
On 24 March 2015, the CMA launched an investigation into suspected anti-competitive arrangements in the UK modelling sector which may infringe Chapter I of the Competition Act 1998 and/or Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
On 25 May 2016 the CMA issued a statement of objections to 5 model agencies and a trade association.
On 16 December 2016, the CMA issued a decision finding that 5 model agencies - FM Models, Models 1, Premier, Storm and Viva - and their trade association, the AMA, breached Chapter I of the Competition Act 1998 and Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and imposing penalties totalling £1,533,500.
Further detail of the CMA’s procedures in Competition Act 1998 cases is available here: CMA’s procedures in Competition Act cases.
Simon Belgard (email@example.com, 0203 738 6472)
Assistant project director
Helen Cameron – CA98 (Helen.Cameron@cma.gsi.gov.uk, 020 3738 6515)
Lucília Falsarella Pereira (Lucilia.Falsarella-Pereira@cma.gsi.gov.uk, 020 3738 6778)
Senior responsible officer
Stephen Blake (Stephen.Blake@cma.gsi.gov.uk, 020 3738 6469)
Published: 26 March 2015
Updated: 12 September 2017
Opened: 24 March 2015
Closed: 27 March 2017
- Follow-up compliance work published.
- Non-confidential decision published.
- Infringement decision issued and Procedural Officer decision added.
- Statement of objections issued and timetable updated.
- Timetable updated.
- First published.