The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) today refused to rule out naming more catering equipment suppliers in connection with an 18-month probe into online price fixing.
The CMA has been examining suspected breaches of competition law relating to “vertical arrangements between certain suppliers and resellers” since August 2014 and the investigation remains ongoing.
Last week Foster Refrigerator became the first manufacturer to be publicly linked with the case after the CMA accused it of selling product below a certain price online through the use of a ‘minimum advertised price’ (MAP) policy.
Multiple manufacturers are rumoured to have been under scrutiny since the CMA commenced the investigation, but so far the only accusations it has made have been against Foster.
Today the CMA was giving little away on the matter, but refused to go as far as denying that more manufacturers will be charged.
“The CMA has not taken any decisions on whether or not it will pursue further investigations in the future,” a spokesperson confirmed.
Meanwhile, the CMA revealed to FEJ’s sister publication Catering Insight that Foster’s case was “prioritized” for investigation due to the strength of evidence against it. More details can be found here.
The CMA is expected to cast final judgment on whether Foster has breached competition law before June 2016. It is currently awaiting the refrigeration manufacturer’s response to the allegations.
Foster said it will not be making any comment on the matter while the investigation is ongoing, but reiterated that it was “committed to complying with relevant competition law and is cooperating fully with the Competition and Markets Authority”.