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Blackburn van dealer 'breached law'
8:53am Friday 29th June 2012 in Blackburn
A COMMERCIAL van and truck business in Blackburn is alleged to have breached competition law with other dealers.
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has alleged Mercedes-Benz and five dealers, including Ciceley, in Blackburn, infringed competition laws.
The other dealers named by the OFT are Enza, Northside, Road Range and H&L, which is now in administration.
It is alleged three of the infringements concern vans and two concern trucks.
The five separate alleged infringements took place at different periods between March 2007 and January 2010. Each alleged infringement involved two or three dealers.
The regulator's provisional finding is that Mercedes-Benz was also involved in two of the alleged infringements.
It said the precise content of the arrangements differed among the five alleged infringements but all contain ‘some element of market sharing, price co-ordination and/or exchange of commercially sensitive information.’ The statement said evidence also suggested, in respect of two of the alleged infringements, Mercedes-Benz helped to facilitate or consolidate the arrangements amongst the dealers.
Ali Nikpay, OFT senior director of cartels, said: “Based on the evidence before us, we have reason to believe that these dealers co-operated to limit competition in their areas.
“These are the OFT’s provisional findings only. All parties will now have a full opportunity to respond to our statement before we decide whether competition law has in fact been infringed."
Ciceley Commercials Ltd was formed in May 1972 and operated from Ciceley Lane, Blackburn. It was appointed as a sole Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicle franchise for Lancashire in 1975. No one at Ciceley Commercials was said to be available to comment.
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