Case reference: 50223
|30 September 2016||Publication of non-confidential version of infringement decision|
|12 August 2016||Infringement decision issued to the parties|
|August 2016||Receipt and consideration of representations on the statement of objections|
|27 July 2016||Statement of objections issued|
|21 July 2016||Settlement announced|
|April 2016||Decision taken to proceed with the investigation|
|December 2015 to April 2016||Initial investigation: information gathering, including issuing of formal or informal information requests and analysis of parties’ responses|
|1 December 2015||Investigation opened|
Non-confidential infringement decision
30 September 2016: The CMA has published a non-confidential version of the decision in this case.
- Non-confidential decision (PDF, 1.2 Mb) (30.9.16)
12 August 2016: The CMA has issued a decision finding that Trod Limited and GB eye Limited (trading as ‘GB Posters’) infringed competition law by agreeing, from 24 March 2011 (at the latest) to 1 July 2015 (at the earliest) that they would not, in certain specified circumstances, undercut each other’s prices for posters and frames sold on Amazon’s UK website.
The CMA also imposed a fine on Trod of £163,371. This is after deducting a 20% discount to reflect the resource savings to the CMA as a result of Trod’s admission and co-operation with the CMA’s investigation. GB eye reported the cartel to the CMA under the CMA’s leniency policy and has not been fined.
- Press release: CMA issues final decision in online cartel case (12.8.16)
Statement of objections
28 July 2016: Following the settlement announced on 21 July 2016, the CMA has issued a statement of objections setting out the CMA’s case against Trod Limited (the settling party) and GB eye Limited (the immunity applicant, trading as ‘GB Posters’) that, from 24 March 2011 (at the latest) to 1 July 2015 (at the earliest), the parties agreed that they would not undercut each other’s prices for posters and frames sold on Amazon’s UK website.
21 July 2016: Trod Limited has admitted agreeing with one of its competing online sellers, GB eye Limited (trading as ‘GB Posters’), that they would not undercut each other’s prices for licensed sport and entertainment posters and frames sold on Amazon’s UK website. The agreement was implemented using automated repricing software which the parties each configured to give effect to the illegal cartel. In a settlement with the CMA, Trod has agreed to accept a fine of £163,371. This is after deducting a 20% discount to reflect the resource savings to the CMA as a result of Trod’s admission and co-operation with the CMA’s investigation.
The other party to the cartel, GB eye, reported the cartel to the CMA under the CMA’s leniency policy and will not be fined, provided it continues to co-operate and complies with the other conditions of the CMA’s leniency policy.
- Press release: Online seller admits breaking competition law (21.7.16)
The CMA launched the investigation on 1 December 2015.
As part of its investigation, the CMA conducted searches on 1 December 2015 at the headquarters of a UK company, Trod Limited, as well as the domestic premises of one of its officers.
The CMA’s searches were co-ordinated with searches carried out by the West Midlands Police on behalf of the US Department of Justice (DoJ), in connection with a separate investigation by the DoJ’s Antitrust Division regarding the sale of wall decor in the USA. The US investigation, which is a criminal investigation and concerns both individuals and businesses, is separate from the CMA’s investigation which is a civil investigation into the activities of businesses.
Max Malagoni (email@example.com or 020 3738 6690)
Assistant project director
Svajune Sakalyte (firstname.lastname@example.org, 020 3738 6213)
Senior responsible officer
Stephen Blake (email@example.com, 020 3738 6469)
Anyone with information about suspected anti-competitive activity is encouraged to contact the CMA.