The CMA announced yesterday that it has accepted commitments by the Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain, the main association for travelling showmen who earn their living at funfairs. The announcement closes, without the imposition of any penalty, an investigation by the CMA into the Guild’s rules that led to the issue of a Statement of Objections in December 2016 (which indicated that the CMA was at that stage minded to impose penalties). The commitments offered, and the reasons why the CMA accepted them, are set out here: in essence, the CMA agreed that its concerns were sufficiently addressed by amendments to the Guild’s rules that: (a) made it easier for new members to join the Guild; (b) removed a number of restrictions on the participation of non-members at fairs; and (c) changed the Guild’s system of “established rights” held by its members to grounds at fairs so as to make transfer of such rights easier, and for landowners to make improvements to fairs on their land. The rule changes now have to be approved by the Guild’s members.
The Guild was represented during the CMA inquiry by George Peretz QC, Michael Armitage and Imogen Proud.