CAMRA asks to meet government minister over OFT failure

By James Wilmore

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Oft, Camra, Government, Westminster system, Minister

CAMRA claims the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) "failed the entire industry" by rejecting its super-complaint and has asked to meet a government...

CAMRA claims the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) "failed the entire industry" by rejecting its super-complaint and has asked to meet a government minister to get the issue sent straight to the Competition Commission.

Speaking to The Publican​ following news that the group will challenge the decision, CAMRA's head of public affairs Jonathan Mail said the group has written to competition minister Kevin Brennan seeking a meeting.

Mail confirmed that CAMRA was considering "many avenues" in its bid to overturn the OFT's decision on its beer tie super-complaint - including submitting a case to the competition appeals tribunal.

The OFT last month rejected CAMRA's super-complaint on the way the pubco model was being operated, effectively giving the industry a clean bill of health from a consumers point of view.

But Mail said: "Our complaint is they have overly focussed on high level analysis by companies and not paid attention to the individual experiences of licensees and the evidence they have provided.

"They have accepted that companies give licensees support, but have not considered the worth of this for licensees."

Mail also highlighted that the OFT report found that tied licensees were paying an average of around £19,000 - £21,000 per year more for their beer than freehouses.

"They have failed consumers, but they have also failed the entire industry by not taking action to resolve these disputes," he added.

CAMRA has kept "lines of communication" open with the OFT, Mail said, and was still seeking clarifaction on various issues in the report.

It is understood the government will respond to the Business and Enterprise Committee report before the inquiry is re-opened next month.

Related topics: Other operators, Legislation

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