Belfast Telegraph

Funfair sector probed by Competition and Markets Authority

The competition watchdog is probing the £100 million funfair market amid concerns that punters are being taken for a ride.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is alleging that the Showmen's Guild of Great Britain is restricting competition and reducing the potential for new attractions to join fairs.

It claims that the Guild's rules restrict members, who make up 90% of the travelling fairs sector in the UK, from competing with one another to organise or attend fairs and also stop members from starting new fairs.

The CMA said that this state of affairs potentially limits the choice of millions of fair-goers, deprives them of access to improved attractions and means they may be getting less value for money than if competition were unrestricted.

Ann Pope, CMA senior director antitrust, said: "Fair-goers may lose out if new fairs can't take place or if existing fairs are under less competitive pressure to provide different or new attractions.

"These are provisional findings only and no conclusion can be drawn at this stage that there has been a breach of competition law.

"We will carefully consider any representations before deciding whether the law has been broken."