Augusta backs claim against UK price comparison website

Augusta Ventures is backing a representative action against price comparison website ComparetheMarket.com in the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal. The claim is brought on behalf of over 20 million UK consumers who are alleged to have been overcharged for their home insurance.

The UK’s competition regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority, found that the website breached competition law and imposed a fine of almost £18 million. The CMA found that ComparetheMarket used unlawful clauses in its contracts with certain home insurers, which had the effect of reducing competition between price comparison websites and between insurers listing on those websites.

Home Insurance Consumer Action, led by consumer rights advocate Kate Wellington, intends to bring a claim on behalf of all UK consumers who purchased home insurance policies, which it believes were affected by ComparetheMarket’s unlawful conduct. Kate has instructed the law firm Hausfeld & Co. LLP to represent her in the claim. Hausfeld is a leading international law firm specialising in competition law, with significant expertise in all aspects of collective redress and group claims.

ComparetheMarket is currently appealing against the CMA’s decision and Home Insurance Consumer Action will ask the court to pause the claim pending the outcome of the appeal. If ComparetheMarket loses its appeal, Home Insurance Consumer Action will ask the court to certify the claim such that it can move to trial.

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New Fundings

Apple, Google hit with collective claims in Portugal

Eskariam, a Spanish legal services company specialising in collective claims, is financing the early stage costs of collective competition claims against Apple and Google that have been filed with the Portuguese Competition Court. The claims aim to recover compensation of up to €198 million. Portuguese firms J+Legal and Cardigos are leading the claims, with support from Hausfeld and Eskariam.

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Competition Appeal Tribunal rejects Apple’s attempt to weaken collective lawsuit

In a significant development for millions who use Apple’s UK App Store, the Competition Appeal Tribunal has refused Apple’s attempt to limit the consumer claim led by Dr Rachael Kent, which alleges abuses of competition law that result in systematic overcharging for apps and in-app purchases by Apple. Dr Kent’s legal claim will now proceed in full to trial, putting added pressure on Apple amid mounting efforts around the world to hold it to account for alleged anticompetitive practices. Dr Kent is being represented by Hausfeld, with barristers from Monckton Chambers, Brick Court Chambers and 4 New Square. Vannin Capital is funding the claim.

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