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Cara & Kate's Modelling Agency In Hot Water

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Photo: GETTY
According to a watchdog body, some of the UK's leading model agencies have been fixing prices. The news comes after raids were carried out on five of the largest model bookers in the country: Models 1, Premier, Storm, FM Models and Viva. Storm famously launched the careers of Kate Moss and Cara Delevingne, and Premier snagged Naomi Campbell.

Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is claiming the agencies have "breached competition law" and been colluding in order to bump up models' rates, something that's being referred to as "a common approach to pricing." The CMA is accusing the Association of Model Agents of sending out "email alerts" to a curated mailing list of agencies, telling them to reject specific customers' proposed fees and to barter for higher prices.

Stephen Blake, The Senior Director of the CMA’s Cartels and Criminal Group, had this to say: "The allegations concern prices charged to a range of customers, including high street chains, online fashion retailers and consumer goods brands. The CMA alleges that these five model agencies sought to achieve higher prices in negotiations with their customers by colluding instead of competing."

The CMA specifically called out high street retailers as victims of over-charging by the agencies, and the BBC have suggested that the penalty for fixing prices can be as much as 10% of turnover.

The investigation, which was launched in March last year, is the first of its kind to attempt to regulate bodies within the creative industries. The CMA are calling the findings "provisional" and none of the agencies are yet to make any statements.
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