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Major modelling agencies accused of price fixing in the UK

Plain-clothed officers raid UK agencies.

The concept of a scandal within the fashion industry isn’t exactly mindblowing these days, however recent raids among some of Britain’s best-known model agencies could be a game-changer for retailers and the price of beauty. 

It has been alleged that some of the UK’s biggest modelling agencies have been meeting to fix prices of models. If true, these activities could put companies in breach of either the Competition Act 1998 or Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It’s also just downright poor form.

Who could forget Canadian supermodel Linda Evangelista’s infamous claim that she wouldn’t get out of bed for less than $10,000? #goals. Well, this may soon change for models in the UK as the Competition and Market Authority (CMA) attempts to tighten the reins on industry standards relating to model appearance fees. Plain-clothed police officers raided major agency players on Monday, in a bid to combat the alleged activity.  

With company net assets in the millions due to contracts between models and big name brands, retailers want the cost of talent to dive as the expenses mount. 

Allegations facing top agencies such as Storm Model Management, Premier Model Management and Models 1, include that they are conspiring to fix prices charged for models to big brands and retailers. The agencies insist that models are charged as a commodity, due to the quality of talent they provide.

If the investigation finds agencies have colluded to fix prices, fines of up to ten per cent of their worldwide turnover could follow. That’s big bucks.

More info soon to follow. 

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