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Funfairs responds to CMA's requests to be fun and fair

Staff Writer |
In December 2016, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) claimed the Showmen's Guild of Great Britain, which represents almost 90% of funfairs in the UK, was breaking competition law by limiting competition between operators at its fairs as well as non-Guild fairs.

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The CMA said this meant fairgoers could potentially miss out on improvements to fairs, such as new rides and amusements or a more diverse range of fairs in their area.

On Tuesday, the Showmen's Guild proposed the following legally binding changes to its rules as a way of addressing the CMA's allegations:

- opening up access to Guild-run fairs for non-member showmen

- enabling access to Guild-run fairs for the showmen (both members and non-members) who are best placed to provide an attractive service to fairgoers

- allowing landowners (often local authorities) to change or improve a fair by replacing poorly performing fair organisers and amusement operators

- reducing restrictions on rival fairs opening close to Guild fairs

- making the rules of the Guild more transparent by publishing them online

- making conditions for membership of the Guild expressly based on objective criteria

The CMA said it's provisional view of the proposals was that once implemented, the rule changes would address its key concerns.

If the proposals were accepted by the CMA, it would close its investigation, and the Guild would be legally bound to uphold the new regulations.

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