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Entries from Digital Intelligence tagged with "office of fair trading"

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Retailers face OFT probe into online shopping data

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has launched an investigation into how online retailers in the UK are using software and data to target individual customers with personalised prices. The move could result in the UK regulator using its powers to clamp down on such activities in the future.

19/11/2012  |  Full story...

Top retailers ordered to change website to comply with consumer refund rights

UK consumer watchdog the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has written to 62 online retailers after discovering they may not be fully complying with consumer protection laws. OFT found that some sites had potential breaches of the Distance Selling Regulations (DSRs) and consumer protection laws. The online sweep looked at the websites of 156 online retailers.

17/10/2012  |  Full story...

Expedia and face OFT investigation into hotel room discounts

The operator of Holiday Inn is under investigation for signing a potentially unlawful deal to limit discounts on rooms. The operator of Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza hotels and two of the UK’s biggest online travel agents - Expedia and - are facing an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading today for signing a potentially unlawful deal to limit discounts on rooms.

02/08/2012  |  Full story...

Groupon UK forced to clean up practices after breaking '50 ad codes'

The UK arm of Online deals website Groupon has been given three months to improve its business practices after an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading found it has breached advertising codes more than 50 times in a year.

19/03/2012  |  Full story...

OFT urges more transparency for personalised ads online

The Office of Fair Trading is calling for sites to clearly identify which are “personalised” advertisements based on their previous web browsing habits. Behaviourally-targeted ads collect information through “cookies”, tiny files which are placed on a user's computer after their first visit to a website. The OFT is concerned about the misuse of personal data and says it raises concerns about privacy.

Heather Clayton of the OFT said: “The OFT is keen to engage with industry players and consumer groups while behavioural advertising is in its relative infancy. Discussions now about the potential for both benefits and harm, and how consumer protection legislation applies, will stand us in good stead in the event that industry action proves ineffective.”

The revenue from online behavioural advertising is currently between £64m and £95m, but this looks set to rise significantly in the future.


26/05/2010  |  Full story...

Orange and T-Mobile merger creates ‘Everything Everywhere’ brand

Orange and T-Mobile have announced further details of their joint venture in the UK, to be called Everything Everywhere, creating the biggest mobile network provider in the UK with 30 million customers. The two brands will be kept separate, with 700 high-street stores in the UK between them and 16,500 staff.

The new Everything Everywhere service will combine the two mobile networks offering better coverage for making calls and accessing the web. Plans for the two companies to merge UK operations were first announced in September last year, though attracted the attention of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). However, the OFT gave Orange and T-Mobile the go-ahead in March this year.


12/05/2010  |  Full story...

OFT to probe Orange and T-Mobile merger

The Office of Fair Trading has cast doubt on the planned merger of T-Mobile UK and Orange, warning it could threaten competition."The OFT's initial view, following consultation, is that the joint venture threatens significantly to affect competition in mobile telecommunications in the UK," the agency said in a statement.

T-Mobile UK, which is owned by Germany's Deutsche Telekom, and Orange, which is owned by France Telecom, are planning to join forces to create a mobile operator that would have a 37-percent market share in Britain, beating nearest rival Vodafone - which holds 25 percent of the market.


05/02/2010  |  Full story...

Watchdog slams Ryanair over ‘puerile’ internet charges

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has criticised Ryanair for introducing a new online fee on its customers, calling it "quite puerile," according to a newspaper report.

The low-cost airline last month started charging the five-pound (5.6 euro) fee per passenger for a ticket bought using a commonly-used Electron card, which had previously been free.

OFT chief executive John Fingleton has criticised the carrier for charging online customers for using a common type of bank card, adding it was operating within "the narrow letter of the law."

Ryanair advertises taxes and other fees upfront but only mentions charges for paying by plastic at the end of a booking on the grounds that customers could escape the fee by using a less-common prepaid card.


04/01/2010  |  Full story...

OFT to probe misleading ads online

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is to look into potential misleading adverts and their effect on consumers, with a particular focus on the internet.Set to launch this autumn, the watchdog will evaluate which online and offline pricing and advertising practices have potential to be most detrimental to consumers. It will also look at the practice of behavioural advertising – targeting adverts according to people's web surfing habits. Heather Clayton, senior director of the OFT's Consumer Market Group, asked business and consumer groups to come forward with suggestions for areas the study should examine. "The way that businesses advertise and price goods and services constantly evolves, and we need to keep up to date on how consumers view these adverts, and the types of advertising and prices which may mislead," she said.

20/08/2009  |  Full story...

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