Thursday, 22 October 2009

PubCos Off the Hook - For Now.

The Office of Fair Trading has ruled out action against the PubCos on the grounds that their current activities and the tie they impose, doesn't act against consumer interests.. They said  it had "not found evidence that supply ties are resulting in competition problems that are having an adverse impact on consumers".

CAMRA, who had raised the complaint expressed disappointment, but will ask the Government to take action following the scathing Business and Enterprise Committee Report. There is more than one  way to skin this cat it seems.

While disappointing, this is hardly surprising, given the narrow  remit of the OFT, though it could well be argued that the effect on consumers is somewhat more oblique than stated by both CAMRA and the OFT.  Reading the report, it seems to me the OFT has been a bit keen to get this one done, dusted and forgotten.

The Morning Advertiser has the story and you can download the report which is quite interesting.

Breaking News: The BEC will re-convene before Christmas to consider its position.


Curmudgeon said...

While there seems to be a fair bit of evidence that pubcos have treated lessees in a high-handed manner, I'm far from convinced it can be demonstrated convincingly that they have acted to the detriment of consumers, either in terms of prices charged or the diversity of products on the market. As you say, it's "oblique" and changing the model could well end up making matters worse rather than better.

Tandleman said...

I don't disagree at all, though what has been good is that the PubCos have been forced to change and will be forced to change some more. That can't be bad.

Stonch said...

Peter, you seem to be taking a sensible view on this. Well done.