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Articles about Office Of Fair Trading

Office of Fair Trading: UK.gov IT deals lack effective competition

No 10 Downing Street’s G-Cloud strategy has been dinged by Britain’s competition regulator, the Office of Fair Trading, for lacking effective competitive on public-sector IT deals. An OFT report published on Tuesday identified what it called “key barriers” still standing in the way of new entrants challenging the big boys for a …
Gavin Clarke, 26 Mar 2014

OFT probe: Do small UK firms get fair shake in public sector tenders?

Armed with data provided from suppliers and public sector IT bods, the Office of Fair Trading will now launch a probe into the state of the government tech landscape and whether SMEs are getting a fair share. Back in July, the competition watchdog put out a call for information as bids to discover if competition is alive and …
Paul Kunert, 15 Oct 2013
The GPS tracker plot imposed on Google Map

FTC chilled about Google's buyout of map app Waze - report

The US Federal Trade Commission has reportedly given the go-ahead for Google's purchase of mapping app Waze, deciding that the acquisition won't hurt competition. People familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that Google "won’t be challenged" by the commission over the deal, which will give Google yet more tech to use in …
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High Street chains vow to play fair on warranties

UK retailers have offered a number of concessions after the Office of Fair Trading had a word about their extended warranties on electrical goods. Dixons, Comet and Argos have all told the OFT, which was worried about unfair competition, that they will set up a warranty comparison website and provide punters with more …
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What's up, Zuck? Facebook asks Brussels to probe its GIGANTIC WhatsApp deal

Facebook has asked the competition wing of the European Commission to probe its $19bn buyout of WhatsApp in a move to apparently nullify a host of investigations being sparked in multiple EU nations. According to the Wall Street Journal, which cited people familiar with the matter, Facebook appears to be keen to swerve antitrust …
Kelly Fiveash, 28 May 2014

OFT writes volley of stern letters to naughty web retailers

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has warned well-known online retailers trading in Britain that some of them could face formal enforcement action from the watchdog if they failed to comply fully with consumer protection law. It said the regulator had, ahead of the busy Christmas shopping period, written letters to 62 leading …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 Oct 2012
big red wheelie bin and pallet full of rubbish in London street

Amazon: OK, OK. We'll let traders flog tat more cheaply elsewhere

Amazon has agreed to stop forcing third-party traders to offer their cheapest prices on its online marketplace within the EU, Blighty's Office of Fair Trading has announced. The online bazaar had been banning traders from selling their products at a cheaper price elsewhere using threats of Amazon account suspension and payment- …
g_cloud_uk_gov

UK.gov to drive stake through heart of big IT outsourcing deals

A wave of huge government IT outsourcing contracts finishing this year won’t be renewed as No.10 snatches back control of Whitehall technology from tech firms. Civil servants will now be expected to take greater responsibility for their departments’ systems and policy, and only engage with suppliers through G-Cloud. Ahead of …
Gavin Clarke, 08 Jul 2013

Government IT contracts to be scrutinised by UK competition watchdog

Britain's competition regulator plans to investigate whether too few suppliers command an unhealthy share of the government IT market. The Office of Fair Trading is seeking views from technology providers and purchasers working in the public sector to find out if it's tough for small businesses to bid for government contracts. …
Kelly Fiveash, 03 Jul 2013
iTunes App Store Hall of Fame

Europe: Apple. Google. Yes, you. Get in here. It's about these in-app bills

The European Commission (EC) has asked Apple and Google to send over some execs for meetings this week on reforming in-app payment systems. The EC wants to shake up the practice of in-game purchases by developers, which have in the past misled users, inflated bills, and circumvented parental controls on applications aimed at …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Feb 2014
The Register breaking news

Did Google's Waze gobble run rivals off the road? UK watchdog starts probe

Google's acquisition of free map app Waze has awoken Britain's competition watchdog, which today confirmed it was scrutinising the gobble. Israeli firm Waze Mobile was bought by Google in June this year for a rumoured $1bn. It gave the advertising goliath satnav-like software that, we're told, taps into the whereabouts of 50 …
Kelly Fiveash, 27 Aug 2013
The Register breaking news

Online trading not anti-competitive for small biz

Small and medium sized (SME) companies do not face major anti-competitive barriers when trying to sell goods or services online, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has said. The OFT has published research (pdf) it commissioned into the services that SMEs need to use if they are to trade online. It said that internet technologies …
OUT-LAW.COM, 08 Jul 2010
ISC Compucolor II. Source: Oldcomputers.net

Fingers crossed! Half a trillion quid in public cash entrusted to ageing gov IT

Nearly half a trillion pounds in tax and other revenues lining the UK government's coffers every year are processed by decades-old IT systems - and the National Audit Office is worried. The auditors, who this week published fresh research [PDF] on public-sector tech, estimated that £480bn of government revenue relied on legacy …
Paul Kunert, 12 Sep 2013
The Register breaking news

Ofcom: The Office of Screwing Over Murdoch?

There are several winners in the wake of News Corp's collapsed BSkyB takeover, but the most unlikely is one we’ve all overlooked. It might surprise you, too. In 2009 David Cameron promised a “bonfire of the quangos” if the Conservatives took power. He singled out one quango in particular: Ofcom. The uber-regulator was created …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Apr 2012
Indonesia's spiffing No Spam logo

Payday loan firms are the WORST. Ugh, my mobe's FILLED with filthy SPAM

Messages from payday loan and gambling companies have come to dominate incident of mobile spam in the UK over recent months. SMS payday loan spam continues to be a mainstay of UK text message spammers, according to a study by Cloudmark. Although Office of Fair Trading investigations and related clampdown saw 19 of the 50 …
John Leyden, 28 Oct 2013
The Register breaking news

ISPs: Get ready to slurp streams from Murdoch's fat pipe

O2 has begun telling its home broadband customers that they will soon be shunted over to BSkyB's network. As exclusively revealed by The Register earlier this year, O2 - the trading name of Telefónica UK Limited, which is majority-owned by Spanish parent company Telefonica - was in talks with BSkyB about a possible sale of the …
Kelly Fiveash, 02 May 2013
The Register breaking news

WANTED: Actual HELPFUL info on price-comparison websites

The Office of Fair Trading has had a word with price-comparison websites, suggesting they up their game to improve consumer trust. The watchdog said it has written to 100 leading price aggregators urging them provide clearer information to would-be punters. The OFT found that, following a sweep of 55 such sites that operate in …
Team Register, 23 Nov 2012
The Register breaking news

Culture minister rejects calls for UK probe of Google search biz

Culture minister Ed Vaizey has rejected calls for UK regulators to investigate Google's search business practices. Tory MP Dominic Raab asked Vaizey to comment on why the Office of Fair Trading or indeed the Competition Commission hadn't undertaken their own probes into Google's search product, which currently has a 95 per cent …
Kelly Fiveash, 06 Apr 2011
The Register breaking news

O2, Vodafone allowed to hop onto each other's towers

The UK Office of Fair Trading has formally approved O2 and Vodafone sharing infrastructure for their 2G and 3G networks, and probably upcoming 4G networks too. The plan to share network infrastructure was announced back in June, but had to be assessed by the Office of Fair Trading, which has now announced that it can go ahead. …
Bill Ray, 01 Oct 2012
Game logo

Game shares rally on upbeat trading statement

Game Group yesterday released an optimistic trading statement in an attempt to halt its tumbling share price. The gamble appears to have paid off, with shares in the video retailer rallying some four pence this morning, currently trading at 190p on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). Last week, the firm's shares fell 17 per cent …
Kelly Fiveash, 04 Mar 2008
The Register breaking news

$1bn for Instagram? Knock yourself out, Facebook - UK watchdog

The UK's merger and acquisitions regulator has cleared Facebook to snaffle up photo filter Instagram. Imagine the sighs of relief at the social network when the watchdog ruled that the $1bn acquisition won't affect competition. The Office of Fair Trading said there was no need to refer the proposed deal to the Competition …
The Register breaking news

OFT restricts use of insurance tool

Competition watchdog the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has reached agreement for limiting the use of a tool produced by credit reference company Experian over fears that it could lead to illegal price co-ordination. Seven insurers and two IT companies have agreed to limit the information they share and the OFT has warned that the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 14 Jan 2011
The Register breaking news

MoneySupermarket: Google never warned us about payday loan AD BAN

Google temporarily pulled every single one of the pay-per-click ads of a major UK-based online price comparison firm from its search results over the weekend. According to Mountain View, the 24-hour ad-yank - which included the removal of ads comparing home and car insurance products - was a reaction to MoneySupermarket.com's …
Kelly Fiveash, 09 Apr 2013
The Register breaking news

UK gov chews over Amazon Book Depository engulfment

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has invited members of the public to comment on Amazon's proposed acquisition of UK-based The Book Depository. "Anticipated acquisition by Amazon.com Inc. of The Book Depository International Limited – issued 5 July 2011," reads a notice on the OFT website. It then advises interested parties to …
Kelly Fiveash, 06 Jul 2011
The Register breaking news

Regulator spanks quiz line with record £800k fine

UK premium-line regulator PhonepayPlus has slapped Churchcastle Limited with the largest fine it has dished to date, ruling the phone-quiz host guilty of misleading and bamboozling callers with impenetrable terms and conditions. After it received 15 complaints, PhonepayPlus found Churchcastle guilty of targeting the elderly, …
Bill Ray, 12 Oct 2012
The Register breaking news

OFT probes Expedia and pals over hotel room price-fixing

Expedia, Booking.com and InterContinential Hotels Group may have broken EU competition law by restricting the ability of travel agents to discount the prices of room-only hotel accommodation, thereby squeezing out their competition. That’s according to an Office of Fair Trading statement of objections issued Tuesday that follows …
Gavin Clarke, 31 Jul 2012
The Register breaking news

UK regulators eye up Facebook's $1bn Instagram bid

Facebook's bid to buy photo-sharing app Instagram for $1bn will be probed by the UK's Office of Fair Trading, according to the watchdog, which invited informal submissions of comment on Friday. The dominant social network's takeover plan of Instagram has concerned the OFT, which is worried that the photo app market could be …
Kelly Fiveash, 25 Jun 2012
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EU ministers strip consumer rights law of controversial elements

EU member states have given a proposed Consumer Rights Directive the go-ahead but have removed its most controversial elements. A European Parliament vote in March is the last hurdle to the passing of the law. Consumer protection advocates have said that the new version of the Directive will have little practical impact on UK …
Kable, 28 Jan 2011
g_cloud_uk_gov

SCC handed top-level clearance to flog secure cloudy kit on G-Cloud

Reseller and integrator SCC has been cleared to sell secure cloud services across all government departments through G-Cloud. SCC has announced pan-government accreditation for nine services sold under its OptimizeCloud, which have been granted an Impact Level 2 and 3 rating by government inspectors. Under G-Cloud, companies …
Gavin Clarke, 23 Aug 2012
The Register breaking news

MoneySavingExpert.com founder flogs website for £87m

MoneySavingExpert.com - the advice website for people seeking decent insurance, credit cards and other money deals - is being sold for £87m to MoneySupermarket.com. Personal finance journalist Martin Lewis founded the site in 2003. The proposed deal awaits clearance from shareholders and regulators including the Office of Fair …
Kelly Fiveash, 06 Jun 2012
The Register breaking news

OFT probes dodgy sites that charge for free gov services

The Office of Fair Trading is investigating dodgy websites that charge punters for government services which are available for free. Given the crapness of government websites, it often takes some amount of digging before you find what you want. Enterprising conpersons are getting their sites further up the Google rankings and …
John Oates, 15 Jul 2011
The Register breaking news

Groupon monstered in OFT complaints probe

Groupon will change the way it does business in Blighty after the Office of Fair Trading concluded a lengthy investigation into the company, which trades as MyCityDeal Ltd. The consumer watchdog kicked off a probe into Groupon in July following a high number of complaints from consumers about the "daily deals" firm's claims in …
Kelly Fiveash, 16 Mar 2012
The Register breaking news

Europe confirms raids on ebook publishers

The European Commission has confirmed it raided several companies involved in ebook publishing. The regulators said it carried out "unannounced inspections" at ebook publishing companies in several member states because it has reason to believe they may have "violated EU antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and other …
John Oates, 02 Mar 2011
The Register breaking news

Biz law reform: Bad news for lawyers, good news for hippies

Vince Cable presented his new Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill to Parliament on Wednesday afternoon, promising more action on competition, streamlined employment tribunals and a £3bn Green Bank that will funnel cash into eco-friendly energy and tech industries. The proposed changes to employment law will encourage work- …
Anna Leach, 24 May 2012
The Register breaking news

Insurance and IT firms agree rules on sharing price details

Six insurance companies and two IT software and service providers have agreed to change the way price information for motor insurance is shared following concerns that previous practices were violating competition laws. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) said that the insurers shared price details about future motor insurance …
OUT-LAW.COM, 08 Dec 2011
homeless man with sign

Court orders trader to repay customers after failure to deliver goods

A court has ordered an online trader to refund consumers to whom he failed to deliver goods or pay refunds, the UK's consumer protection regulator the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has said. Pavan Arora must payback customers who bought technology products via websites he operated, the Cardiff County Court ordered, according to …
OUT-LAW.COM, 27 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

OFT warns wallet-raiding debt collectors over web ads

Debt management companies have been warned over their use of the internet and social networking when promoting themselves or their services to consumers. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) said the firms risk losing their consumer credit licences if they offer misleading information to consumers through the mediums. The regulator …
OUT-LAW.COM, 27 Mar 2012
The Register breaking news

Online car-buying firm agrees to more transparent pricing

An online car-buying company has agreed to change the way it operates after consumer regulator the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) said that was not transparent with customers about its pricing. A year-long OFT study revealed that nearly 96 per cent of people who sold their cars to webuyanycar.com received less for their vehicle …
OUT-LAW.COM, 04 Apr 2011
hands waving dollar bills in the air

OFT probes extended warranties

The Office of Fair Trading is launching a short, sharp investigation into the market for extended warranties, having found some stores are not complying with rules imposed after a previous probe. The OFT will investigate the £750m market to see if consumers are getting a fair deal when buying extra guarantees for domestic …
John Oates, 14 Apr 2011
The Register breaking news

Court blocks 12 websites for 'misleading' Olympic ticket sales

Twelve websites are being blocked by British authorities under for the unauthorised sale of tens of thousands of tickets to the Olympics. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) said it had secured an interim enforcement order from the High Court blocking the sites’ further sale of tickets and giving British authorities the ability to …
Gavin Clarke, 26 Jul 2012
The Register breaking news

Virgin Media blames Activision for Call of Duty lag problems

Virgin Media has blamed coders of the popular Xbox Live game Call of Duty: Black Ops for slow connection issues that are hampering its service. "We're aware some of our customers are experiencing issues whilst playing Call of Duty: Black Ops on Xbox Live. Xbox Live traffic isn't managed by our systems so we've taken a close look …
Kelly Fiveash, 23 Jun 2011
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Government to examine public procurement practices

Competition watchdog the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) will investigate the way Government and local authorities buy services in a bid to ensure that competition law is being respected. The OFT has already studied the role of Government in markets and plans to spend the next year analysing the Government's role in buying, selling …
OUT-LAW.COM, 22 Dec 2010
The Register breaking news

Staples to buy Office World UK

Staples is stumping up £32.5m to buy Office World, the UK arm of rival office goods retailer, Swiss-based Globus Group. That's not a lot of money - it gains 59 out-of-town stores, all based outside London. The deal is subject to scrutiny on competition grounds from the Office of Fair Trading. Theo Van Brandenburg, president, …
Drew Cullen, 26 Mar 2004
groupon_plus_snake

Groupon CEO plans to 'reinvent local commerce ecosystem'

In an open letter to shareholders Groupon CEO Andrew Mason has outlined plans to take the firm into local ecommerce services with a series of products designed to expand beyond its core business. "Groupon is setting out to reinvent the multi-trillion-dollar local commerce ecosystem. We are building an integrated suite of tools …
Iain Thomson, 07 May 2012
The Register breaking news

Groupon's pants 'Weight Loss HOTPANTS' ad banned

Groupon has got into fresh trouble with the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA), this time over pants. Today's ruling on a Groupon advert for "Weight Loss HOTPANTS" is the latest in a string of recent advertising complaints upheld against the coupon-pushers – they most recently had problems pushing snake oil and boob jobs – that …
Anna Leach, 01 Feb 2012
The Register breaking news

Culture sec consults Ofcom, OFT on BSkyB merger

Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt is writing to Ofcom and the Office of Fair Trading today to seek advice from the regulators over the proposed merger of television broadcaster BSkyB with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp empire. The move, reported by the BBC, follows the sudden shuttering of Sunday tabloid the News of the World. Murdoch' …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Jul 2011
The Register breaking news

Debt-management biz may be barred from Facebook etc.

Debt management companies could be prevented from contacting consumers through social media after a regulator review revealed "widespread problems with misleading advertising". In a draft update to its debt management guidance, now out for consultation, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) warned that using social media such as …
OUT-LAW.COM, 02 Sep 2011
The Register breaking news

OFT boss: 'Google is fantastic and should be applauded'

What happens when competition watchdogs lose their teeth – and roll over to have their tummies tickled? Via the influential chair of the Commons Culture Media and Sport Select Committee, John Whittingdale MP, comes a very interesting story today. Whittingdale relates a conversation with John Fingleton, the head of the Office of …
Andrew Orlowski, 07 Sep 2011
The Register breaking news

SurfTheChannel Brit movie pirate gets 4 YEARS' PORRIDGE

The mastermind behind popular pirate site SurfTheChannel.com has been jailed for four years. A jury found Anton Vickerman guilty in June, but sentencing only took place today at Newcastle Crown Court. Vickerman, of Gateshead, earned at least £35,000 a month from the site, which actively curated links to infringing material. The …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Aug 2012
The Register breaking news

Microsoft STALKS YOU even more than supermarkets do, says dev

Web-tracking is rife on technology vendor websites, with Microsoft among the worst offenders. Tech sites serve up even more trackers than the average online retailer, say browser privacy plug-in devs. Trackers follow surfers after they visit a website to serve behavioural ads elsewhere online. The technology started in the world …
John Leyden, 29 Nov 2012