CMA urges retailers to ‘behave responsibly’ amid Coronavirus panic

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has urged retailers to not “take advantage of people” and “exploit” the current Coronavirus situation.

It said it will consider any evidence that companies have “broken competition or consumer protection law” by hiking prices or making misleading claims about protective equipment. 

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The CMA will now take “direct enforcement action” in appropriate cases.

In addition, it will assess whether it should advise the government to consider “taking direct action” to regulate prices.

Lord Tyrie, CMA chairman, said: “We will do whatever we can to act against rip-offs and misleading claims, using any or all of our tools; and where we can’t act, we’ll advise government on further steps they could take, if necessary.”

CMA chief executive, Andrea Coscelli, added: “We urge retailers to behave responsibly throughout the coronavirus outbreak and not to make misleading claims or charge vastly inflated prices. 

“We also remind members of the public that these obligations may apply to them too if they resell goods, for example on online marketplaces.”

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