Reply to post: Re: Constantly Missing Action

Regulator delays Adobe's $20B buy of Figma, derails deal deadline

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: Constantly Missing Action

"Or how about Chinese sellers on very much every UK marketplace, not having to conform to any regulations and easily undercutting local small businesses?"

That's true, but it is not the CMA's job to address, because if sellers are offering goods that are non-compliant with product regulations, then it is the collective job of the Office of Product Safety and Standards (part of the Department of Business and Trade), Trading Standards in local authorities, and the various border authorities to intercept the goods. They're hindered by very limited resources so that despite volumes of container imports being roughly 20% higher than ten years ago, there's half as many trading standards officers as there were then, along with well out of date legislation. In terms of resource, a reasonably educated estimate from public data of the the resources being spent on regulating product sales is about £100m nationally. Our imports of products within the scope of the Office of Stuff(tm) can be reasonably guesstimated at about £200bn a year from a crude carve up of National Statistics data, so product regulation (all paid for through taxation) is about 0.05% of the value of those good. There's no right answer on what that value should be, but it does explain the prevalence of shonky and illegal-to-sell goods being offered online. And even the big players who do know better are at it.

Here's an example: the Office of Stuff stating that it's illegal to chain saw disks or toothed saw disks for angle grinders:

https://www.gov.uk/product-safety-alerts-reports-recalls/product-safety-alert-angle-grinder-chainsaw-disc-attachment-psa2

https://www.gov.uk/product-safety-alerts-reports-recalls/product-safety-alert-angle-grinder-toothed-saw-blade-attachments-psa5

And here's ManonMano flouting the regulations:

https://www.manomano.co.uk/cat/angle+grinder+chainsaw+disc

And here's Amazon:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Carbide-Grinder-Circular-Woodworking-Finishing/dp/B0CBV78TT4/ref=asc_df_B0CBV78TT4/?tag=googshopuk-21&linkCode=df0&hvadid=658906229984&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=17845235912680947734&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1007011&hvtargid=pla-2197315811958&th=1

There's tons for sale on sites like AliExpress, but then again you'd be daft to expect anything less.

And you think they don't know? Well, they've had a stern talking to from the minister responsible some months back:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/business-minister-hosts-online-marketplace-round-table

Meanwhile, the government's thinking on regulation is that there's far too much of it, so there's a consultation in progress about "streamlining" regulators, so you can guess how that will pan out.

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