Home Business News CMA clamps down on ‘retailers exploiting customers’ over coronavirus

CMA clamps down on ‘retailers exploiting customers’ over coronavirus

by LLB Reporter
20th Mar 20 2:39 pm

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said they are going to clamp down on retailers using the coronavirus outbreak as an opportunity to exploit people and make huge profits.

The CMA are concerned companies are “charging excessive prices or making misleading claims about their products” and have now launched a “taskforce” to deal with related enquiries.

The CMA will take enforcement action and or apply for emergency powers if there is evidence companies are exploiting customers by breaching competition or consumer protection law.

CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli said, “This is obviously a time when we all have to behave responsibly to protect our fellow citizens, and particularly those who are most vulnerable.

“We urge retailers to behave responsibly in the exceptional circumstances of the Covid-19 outbreak.

“But if they do not, our taskforce is monitoring market developments to enable us to intervene as quickly as possible.”

Andrew Tyrie, the CMA’s chairman said, “The intervention in the economy necessitated by public health policy may have a substantial impact on competition, with the risk of an increase in consumer detriment. That’s why this taskforce is needed.

“The CMA is already mitigating some of these risks using existing powers.”

Panic buyers across the capital could be spreading coronavirus as they huddle close to each other, completely ignoring all medical and scientific advice.

There are stringent guidelines that advises “social distancing,” shoppers are also touching each other and their trollies, especially if a fight breaks out.

Selfish panic buyers are emptying the shelves and elderly and the vulnerable are left with nothing to buy.

George Eustice pleaded for an end to the chaos, as he told the House of Commons, “There isn’t a shortage of food, the challenge that we’ve had is getting food to shelves in time when people have been purchasing more.”

Supermarket chain Iceland has seen sales soar as people are stocking up on frozen food as the coronavirus outbreak spreads across the UK.

Richard Walker, managing director of Iceland said there’s no need for shoppers to panic-buy as the supermarket chain has reported they have “no supply issues” despite the virus outbreak.

Walker warned that panic buying could harm vulnerable and elderly customers.

Supermarket chiefs across the UK are preparing for “empty shelves and riots” as coronavirus is “highly likely” to accelerate within days and weeks.

A former Tesco executive, Bruno Monteyne gave a stark warning that a major outbreak of the virus will lead to “empty shelves and riots.”

Monteyne said, “If a major coronavirus outbreak happens, that will quickly lead to panic buying, empty shelves and food riots.

“Plans are surely being drawn up with suppliers to rationalise product ranges when necessary.”

Monteyne who is a senior industry analyst and a former Tesco executive said online deliveries could stop over coronavirus fears.

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