CAMRA to challenge OFT ruling on pubs
CAMRA -- the Campaign for Real Ale -- will issue a legal challenge to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT)over its decision to reject the campaign's Super Complaint on anti-competitive practices in the British pub market.
CAMRA is pledging funds to appeal but will depend on consumers helping to raise further funds to ensure the challenge can stand the best chance of success.
In October, CAMRA criticised the OFT for failing to protect consumers by taking no further action to address consumer detriment in the pub market following the campaign's super complaint submitted in July. Under the Enterprise Act 2002, CAMRA is entitled to appeal against the OFT's decision to the Complaints Appeals Tribunal and it has decided on this course of action to continue fighting anti-competitive practices in the pub market.
From Tuesday 5 January 2010, CAMRA will call on consumers to visit the campaign's website (www.camra.org.uk)and contribute to the Consumer vs OFT Pub Market Ruling Campaign Fund.
CAMRA chief executive Mike Benner said: "CAMRA's complaint to the OFT was based on securing a fair deal for the pubgoer and building a sustainable future for Britain's pubs. We believe the OFT did not take reasonable steps to undertand the pub sector."
Bob Young, a former member of the Monopolies and Mergers Committee and Principal for Europe Economics, said the OFT's response was "as inadequate as CAMRA's super complaint was compelling. The OFT has not seriously considered whether there is fair competition at a local level which ensures that consumners or pub landlords for that matter get the best deal. This is a critical shortcoming in the OFT's response to CAMRA."
Mike Benner added: "We urge consumers and associated trade bodies to get behind our appeal and support our fund."