15 June 2024, 09:23
By Furniture News May 31, 2024

CMA threatens Emma Sleep with court action

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has notified Emma Sleep (Emma Matratzen, Emma Sleep and Emma Sleep UK) and its directors (the Emma Group) that, unless the brand commits to making changes to its advertising practices, it will commence court action.

The CMA wrote to the Emma Group on 24th July 2023 setting out its concerns, and sought a formal commitment from the Emma Group, by way of undertakings, to change its online sales practices, and to avoid court action.

The CMA reported this week that Emma Group has not agreed to provide undertakings that were sufficient to address its concerns, and so has now informed the mattress brand that it is preparing to take court action and will launch proceedings if it does not commit to changing its practices without "unnecessary delay".

In November 2022, the CMA opened an investigation into the group's compliance with consumer protection law, investigating its use of online urgency claims, such as countdown clocks.

Last year, CMA again approached Emma in relation to possible breaches, putting forward specific concerns about the group's online sales practices, including whether its ‘urgency claims’ such as countdown timers and ‘high demand’ claims, and ‘discounts’, were misleading consumers.

Emma responds: “The CMA first contacted Emma in November 2022 to raise concerns over some of our marketing practices, following which we took immediate action to improve our compliance.

"Emma has been negotiating with them since July 2023 in an attempt to agree on the text of legally binding undertakings that would address its concerns, while also ensuring that our UK business can continue to offer great deals to our customers.

"Although we have held extensive and constructive discussions with the CMA, we have been unable to reach agreement on certain aspects of the CMA's proposal that, in our view, risk harming consumers and the competitive environment.

"We will continue to engage with the CMA to reach a solution while welcoming the opportunity to put our arguments to the court if an agreement cannot be reached. Emma remains committed to being a compliant and trusted company, whilst also defending the interests of our customers.


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