Modelling Agencies Slapped with Fines
Reuters reports that the Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS) has fined 11 Singaporean modelling agencies for price-fixing. According to a CCS statement, the agencies reportedly conducted the price fixing “on a wide variety of modelling services, including editorials, advertorials, fashion shows and media loading usage”, between 2005 and July 2009.
Reuters: Singapore calls the fashion police (23 November 2011)
UK Manufacturer Gets £20 Million Fine for Price Fixing
This is Money reports that the German cartel office has fined UK manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser £20 million for illegally co-ordinating the prices of a dishwashing detergent with rival Henkel. The fine reportedly comes after the company paid £10.2 million in fines in 2010 for violating of competition laws in the UK. Henkel reportedly avoided fines by acting as the whistleblower.
This is Money: Reckitt Benckiser fined £20m for price fixing after colluding with rival Henkel over dishwashing products cost (23 November 2011)
(Source: This is Money)
ACCC Regulatory Actions
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released the following media releases relating to recent regulatory action:
FTC Settles Antitrust Charges
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced that Pool Corporation (PoolCorp), the largest swimming pool products distributor in the US, has agreed to a settlement resolving antitrust charges by the FTC. Among other things, the settlement will stop future anticompetitive tactics which PoolCorp has allegedly used to exclude new competitors in local markets nationwide by requiring the company to implement an antitrust compliance program.
FTC’s media release (21 November 2011)
Banks Under Investigation for Debit Card Fees
Bloomberg reports that US Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich has stated that the US Department of Justice (DoJ) “will take appropriate action” if evidence of collusion emerges with regards to the recent debit card fees imposed (and withdrawn) by major US banks. According to Bloomberg, Bank of America Corp, JPMorgan Chase and Co and Wells Fargo and Co had briefly tested debit card fees on some customers, until the move raised public rancour from customers and politicians. Reportedly, Mr Weich’s statement was in response to a request by Representative Peter Welch to conduct an antitrust investigation into actions by the banks and their trade groups.
Bloomberg: Debit Card Fees Under U.S. Justice Department Review (23 November 2011)