Provision of residential estate agency services

The CMA is investigating suspected anti-competitive arrangement(s) in the residential estate agency sector which may infringe Chapter I of the Competition Act

Timetable

Date Action
June 2019 to September 2019 Written and oral representations on the statement of objections
13 June 2019 Statement of objections issued
February 2019 Investigation continuing (further update by the end of June 2019)
September 2018 Decision taken to proceed with the investigation (further update by the end of February 2019)
March 2018 to September 2018 Initial investigation: information gathering, including issuance of formal or informal information requests and reviewing parties’ responses

Change log

The following changes have been made to the case timetable since it was first published in February 2018:

Date of change Reason for change Change made to timetable
13 June 2019 Additional time needed to undertake further investigatory steps Date of further update changed from April 2019 to June 2019

Statement of objections

13 June 2019: The CMA has today issued a statement of objections alleging that 4 estate agents operating in the Berkshire area breached competition law by taking part in a cartel agreement to fix and maintain a minimum level of commission fees to be charged for the provision of traditional residential estate agency services.

The allegations concern (a) Michael Hardy & Company (Wokingham) Limited and Geocharbert UK Ltd; (b) Prospect Estate Agency Limited and Prospect Holdings (Reading) Limited; (c) Richard Worth Limited (in administration) and Richard Worth Holdings Limited; and (d) The Romans Group (UK) Limited and Romans 1 Limited.

Case Information

The investigation concerns a suspected infringement(s) of Chapter I of the Competition Act 1998 (CA98).

The investigation has been launched on the basis of information received following the decision of the CMA in a previous investigation in the sector: Residential estate agency services in the Burnham-on-Sea area.

No assumption should be made at this stage that any infringement has occurred. The recipients of the statement of objections will now have an opportunity to respond to the allegations. The CMA will consider any representations it receives before any decision is taken as to whether competition law has in fact been infringed.

Changes to the timing of original entries in the case timetable will be made where the estimated timing in the original timetable changes.

Contacts

Assistant Project Directors

Victoria Keenan (victoria.keenan@cma.gov.uk)

Helen Cameron (helen.cameron@cma.gov.uk)

Project Director

Christiane Kent (christiane.kent@cma.gov.uk)

Senior Responsible Officer

Howard Cartlidge (howard.cartlidge@cma.gov.uk)

Published 2 March 2018
Last updated 13 June 2019 + show all updates
  1. Statement of objections issued.
  2. Case timetable and Senior Responsible Officer updated.
  3. First published.