Four Berkshire estate agencies named following CMA cartel investigation

first_imgHome » News » Agencies & People » Four Berkshire estate agencies named following CMA cartel investigation previous nextAgencies & PeopleFour Berkshire estate agencies named following CMA cartel investigationRegulator says its investigation uncovered evidence of price fixing by Michael Hardy, Prospect, Richard Worth and Romans.Nigel Lewis13th June 201903,061 Views The latest price-fixing cartel investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has completed its initial phase and named four estate agencies in Berkshire.These are Michael Hardy, Prospect, Richard Worth Ltd (in administration) and Romans all of which the CMA says its provisional findings reveal to have broken competition law.It says the estate agencies took part in a price-fixing cartel which set minimum levels of sales commission fees within their local market.The cartel also lasted for a shockingly extended period of time, beginning in 2007 and lasting until 2014.Each of the companies involved were found to have agreed minimum commission rates, exchanged confidential pricing information and held meetings during which they colluded to jointly enforce their fees system among themselves.Time to respondThe four companies now have the opportunity to respond to the provisional findings of the CMA investigation before a final announcement is made and any fines or voluntary directorship disqualifications are announced.“Everyone knows selling your home is expensive,” says Howard Cartlidge, Senior Director, Cartels at the CMA (left).“So it’s important that people should be able to shop around all of their local estate agents to make sure they are getting the best possible deal.“Estate agents who conspire to set minimum commission rates are cheating homeowners and breaking the law. Where we find evidence that this is happening, we will not hesitate to take action to protect people selling their home.”Today’s announcement is the third recent investigation by the CMA into estate agency cartels. It follows a similar cartel in Burnham on Sea, Somerset and, prior to that, an investigation into agents involved in the Three Counties Estate Agent Association cartel.   estate agent pricing fixing estate agent cartel berkshire estate agent cartel berkshire estate agent price fixing CMA Romans CMA Michael Hardy CMA Prospect CMA Richard Worth Ltd cartel Romans cartel Michael Hardy cartel prospect cartel Richard Worth Ltd price fixing romans price fixing houses price fixing cartel Howard Cartlidge CMA Competition and Markets Authority June 13, 2019Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021last_img read more

Mayor’s Message: Temporary Moratorium on Short-Term Rentals Begins

first_imgMayor Jay Gillian Dear Friends,First, I want to thank everybody for doing all they can to help stop the spread of coronavirus. I know this disruption to our work and way of life is not easy.I am aware of the concerns about an influx of new visitors to Ocean City during the current public health emergency.Although Ocean City ordinarily welcomes all visitors, at this time we must take all available steps to enforce social distancing recommendations and limit nonessential travel to Ocean City.As authorized by Gov. Phil Murphy’s Executive Order No. 108, Ocean City will prohibit online marketplaces from offering short-term rentals until further notice.In addition, I have spoken with leaders in the Ocean City real estate community, and they have agreed to suspend short-term rentals of any kind. I urge all private owners to do the same.The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a new request yesterday for all residents of New Jersey and surrounding states to stop nonessential travel.Gov. Murphy continues to allow municipalities to take new measures to fight the spread of COVID-19.I want you all to know that I will do everything I am permitted to do to protect the members of our community, our region and our nation.With the leadership of President Pete Madden and Vice President Tony Wilson, all of City Council is working as a team with the administration to do all we can.We all understand the health crisis we are living with, and a temporary moratorium on rentals can only serve to better ensure the health and safety of all Ocean City residents.We must all work together to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, and I absolutely believe this is another action that must be taken in our collective efforts.Thank you for your cooperation in this matter, and I wish good health to you and your loved ones.Warm regards,Mayor Jay A. Gillianlast_img read more

Anderson .Paak, Jim James, Norah Jones, & Many More Cover Holiday Favorites For Spotify ‘Christmas Collection’ [Stream]

first_imgWith Thanksgiving now officially a thing of the past, music fans now have their eyes and ears set on the upcoming holiday season. As much as folks love annoying their cousins and co-workers by playing Mariah Carey‘s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” on repeat for an entire month, it’s always nice to have a new batch of holiday songs ready to give a renewed meaning to the season of giving, and streaming.This year, Spotify has taken the initiative of putting Mariah on the back burner in exchange for an entire playlist of new holiday recordings from a mix of artists ranging from Anderson .Paak and Jim James to Miley Cyrus and Norah Jones. The new playlist shared by the streaming service last week is named, “Spotify Singles: Christmas Collection,” and is now available for fans to play on repeat over the next month leading up to Christmas on December 25th.The mix of fresh holiday songs included in Spotify’s digital mixtape can be streamed in the 40-track playlist below, and covers a wide range of classics—from Tony Bennett and Diana Krall teaming up for a cover of “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town” to Kelly Clarkson singing above ringing bells on “Christmas Eve”. In total, the entire holiday playlists stretches out to nearly two hours of yuletide magic, making it the perfect soundtrack for waiting in those endless, inefficient checkout lines while you do your holiday shopping.Other artists and songs featured on the Spotify playlist, which were mostly recorded at Spotify’s NYC Studios, include Sam Smith delivering an enchanting cover of Joni Mitchell‘s “River”, Wycef Jean performing a lively and modernized version of Nat King Cole‘s timeless “The Christmas Song”, Jon Batiste and Danielle Brooks crooning “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”, and many more. Even emerging indie-folk artist Yoke Lore appears on the star-studded mix with a dreamy rendition of Wham!‘s “Last Christmas”.Spotify Singles: Christmas Collection – Various ArtistsSpeaking of Christmas, there will be plenty of holiday-themed concerts taking place around the country next month. Some of this year’s highlight holiday events include Melvin Seals, Oteil Burbridge, and John Kadlecik teaming up for the “Merry Jerry Christmas” Holiday Concert in northern California, as well as Warren Haynes recruiting some of the biggest names in rock for his 30th Annual X-Mas Jam in North Carolina.last_img read more

Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race: Introducing Dell Rugged Ambassador Heather Broadbent

first_imgThis is an ongoing series of blogs by Dell Ambassadors competing in the Clipper Race, a 40,000 nautical mile race around the world in 70-foot racing yachts. Each yacht is equipped with two Latitude 7424 Rugged Extreme notebooks and a Latitude 7212 Rugged Extreme tablet to provide the onboard teams with access to critical navigation and communications throughout the challenging race.Organization is keyLast-minute preparations have meant that all I have done is sleep, eat and breathe this race for weeks. It is a real dichotomy as I wanted to spend every minute with my family, but I also know how important it is to make the best possible preparations for myself and my team. I seem to have become the go-to person for general team enquiries; emailing, phoning and messaging daily for updates and info. This means I must be super organized with the information always to hand above or below deck. Having the Dell Latitude 7212 Rugged Extreme tablet to hand really eased the load as I am comfortable to have it on deck without the worry of it getting damaged.Once the race started, my needs changed. With no emails to answer, my priority is to keep track of my race. The day we set off, I waved for over six hours nonstop to my family and friends who had travelled down to London to see me off. What a day it was, the culmination of all our preparation. Tens of thousands of spectators at St Katharine Docks meant that the atmosphere was absolutely electrifying. After feeling so calm for so many weeks, the emotion finally got to me. Seeing my beautiful daughters, Alex and Megan, made me the proudest mama in the land.After the emotion of race build-up and the parade of sail, it was a huge relief to start racing. It was great to get those sparkling white new sails up and pulling us along.Our first weekThe first few days of the race were pure madness. The words that sum it up are: Seasick, BIG waves, fast sailing, disasters, injuries, despondency, tiredness, exhaustion and aching muscles.The next few days took their toll on us all, draining everyone both mentally and physically. We were on our way to Portugal, beating hard into the wind.During my downtime, I kept up to date with my blog writing lying in my bunk with the Dell Latitude 7212 Rugged Extreme tablet on my knee. I had the night mode switched on and, using the onscreen keyboard to type, it was super simple to keep track of the days. I decided from the start to commit to writing every day as I knew that the days would run together – after a few days at sea you lose all track of time. Some days it was great to watch a movie, just to clear my head and rest.Team spirit was high, and crew roles were starting to become more established. Everyone is looking out for each other and every single person brings something to the crew.Wind holes and toffee cakeThe race was a game of cat and mouse with boats jostling for places. With a wind hole looming, we executed a tactical well-placed jibe, and soon we were back in second place with everything to play for. The dreaded wind hole showed up as a pale blue/green image in the Nav Station on our Dell Rugged notebook. It’s an area with no wind and it was touch-and-go as to who was going to get there first…and more to the point IF they get there first, would it matter? One of the slower boats could catch up and even though they had been hundreds of miles behind, they snuck into a podium place right at the last minute.What a disaster! I woke after three hours of sleep to start my midnight standby shift only to find that we were practically last. The wind hole had hit us hard. After looking good for third place, the slower boats had caught us up and by sticking to the rhumb line they snuck past us on the inside. It wasn’t a huge surprise and the possibility of this happening had been discussed, but we had pushed hard to try and sail around the wind hole. Unfortunately, that strategy had left us further out than the rest of the chasing pack.The toffee cake that I had cooked before I went to bed had been a triumph. That was the only saving grace of the day.Eventually, we finished in seventh place – not a brilliant result but it has brought us together as a team. I already know I have made friends for life with my crew. Bring on race two – I can’t wait to get going again.last_img read more

Three Ways Your Servers are like a Good Pair of Boots

first_imgNo, you can’t walk all over them. Our PowerEdge servers are stress-tested for natural disasters, but I digress.I recently had a conversation with a cobbler about the construction of his boots and what differentiated his product from some of his lower-priced competitors. He emphasized the importance of a good pair of shoes constructed with good materials that move with your feet and stand ready to endure the occasional repair. After this conversation, I got to thinking about the relationship between shoes and servers, as one does.I found myself talking to the cobbler that day because I, like many people, wear my boots into the ground, quite literally, before I make the trip to the shoe store. However, by purchasing “white box” boots and wearing them down, I was unnecessarily subjecting myself to foot pain and sole blowouts. Bringing this back to servers, I was making the same mistake as 40% of companies do by ignoring the need to refresh until it is too late.So how exactly are servers like a pair of shoes?Servers are the bedrock of your core operations and play a huge role in your day-to-day performance Your servers may seem fine after four years of use and even perform well during day-to-day tasks, but it’s not Carl from accounting’s email archive that keeps you up at night – it’s your company’s mission-critical applications that do. Your servers, like shoes, are always running in the background. You probably won’t give servers much thought unless something goes wrong because you just accept that they will get you where you want to go.There is a myth circulating that servers are a commodity. If that is true, then shoes are a commodity as well. Sure, technically you can walk in any shoe, but you and I both know that we don’t want to just walk in shoes. They need to support our feet, mold to our gait, and not fall apart. Every. Single. Day. So, in that respect, servers are in no way a commodity. Construction, performance, and service matter in servers and boots. Construction, performance, and service don’t matter in true commodities like corn and oil.  Good servers won’t last forever, but they will adapt to fit your needs “White box” boot companies cut corners under the hood by swapping in cheaper materials, failing to vet vendors, and ignoring customer needs throughout the lifecycle of the shoe. Three months later, you’re running to a meeting and your heel comes unglued.While your servers aren’t held together by glue (at least I hope not. If so, we should talk…), the analogy still holds. Dell EMC PowerEdge servers are assembled from a trusted supply chain of vendors carefully monitored with your performance and security top of mind. We don’t cut corners in our own data centers, so we certainly will not cut corners in yours.When you purchase a Dell EMC PowerEdge server, much like a good pair of boots, your relationship with us continues well beyond the purchase. With our OpenManage software and iDRAC BMC, we are with you every step of the way, ensuring your servers are operating at peak performance when it matters most. If something goes wrong, we are here to get you back up to speed.Of course, even the best servers and boots need a refresh due to changing times. If your toe is poking out or those Spice Girls platform boots just aren’t your style anymore, you’ve probably waited too long to refresh your boots. If you are slogging through data-intensive AI applications on a four-year-old server, you probably should have refreshed last year. But no worries, Dell Technologies is there to get you plugged in, back up, and running. Trusted materials and construction matter A good pair of shoes will mold to your foot and flex throughout the day depending on your activity. A good server will do the same.PowerEdge servers scale to your needs, freeing up more space to run more critical applications or helping you reduce your data center footprint. Further, our kinetic infrastructure moves us closer to full composability by running the right resources for the right workloads as your business needs fluctuate. What does all this mean? Your data center will flex like a shoe, hugging the sides of your feet, providing comfort and preventing blisters from morning to night.So, in conclusion…Don’t let your servers wake you up in the middle of the night with blisters and foot pain. Refresh regularly with trusted Dell EMC PowerEdge servers – optimally every three years.To learn more about PowerEdge, visit, or join the conversation on Twitter @DellEMCservers.last_img read more

This Week’s Picks: Aladdin, Frozen on DVD, SJB & Andrew Rannells!

first_img Eat, Drink & Learn with Jarrod Spector March 23 and 24 at 54 Below Join the longtime Jersey Boy, now starring in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, for a music history lesson of sorts. Fortunately, this one features booze and snacks, not worksheets and filmstrips. Jarrod Spector will perform songs from his forthcoming album, A Little Help from My Friends: Live at 54 Below, which croons tribute to famous tenors ranging from Enrico Caruso to (of course) Frankie Valli. (Yes, you can buy the CD at the show.) Click for tickets! Vive La Revolution with Les Miz March 23 at Imperial Theatre We know you’ve seen Les Miserables. You can nail “I Dreamed a Dream” in the shower and you even gave the movie a whirl, enduring Russell Crowe’s chest-cold baritone. So why watch James Powell and Laurence Connor’s revival? We’ll give you seven reasons: Ramin Karimloo, Will Swenson, Caissie Levy, Nikki M. James, Andy Mientus, Samantha Hill and Keala Settle. Click for tickets! With a warm(ish) weather forecast in our future, it’s time to ditch those sweats, comb your hair, and get outside! (Unless, you’re watching Frozen, which is totally cool. Stay home. We’ll come over. Can we bring snacks?) You’ve got plenty to take in this week, including a Beautiful star’s musical history lesson, the latest revival of a bona-fide classic, and two Great White Way songbirds taking over Carnegie Hall. It’s all part of this week’s must-see list! Get Classy with SJB and Andrew Rannells March 21 at Carnegie Hall How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Yeah, you can practice. Or you can save yourself the struggle and heartache by putting on your fancy duds and heading over to the New York Pops’ On Broadway concert, featuring Stephanie J. Block (Wicked) and Andrew Rannells (The Book of Mormon). The talented duo will belt Broadway classics accompanied by the incomparable orchestra conducted by Steven Reineke. That sounds way better than practice. Click for tickets! Ride the Magic Carpet with Aladdin March 20 at the New Amsterdam Theatre We’ve been waiting decades for a musical adaptation of the 1992 animated smash to bow on Broadway, and the day is finally here! Featuring classic songs from the movie and new songs from composer Alan Menken, Adam Jacobs (The Lion King) steps into the title character’s baggy pants and Courtney Reed plays Princess Jasmine. If we had a magic lamp, we’d wish for tickets to Aladdin, tickets to Aladdin, and three more wishes. Click for tickets! Snuggle Up With Elsa and Friends Available March 18 on DVD and Blu-ray Will you please watch Frozen now that it’s on DVD and Blu-ray? Good! Because this animated musical about two royal sisters (voiced by Kristen Bell and—pay attention, John Travolta—I-d-i-n-a M-e-n-z-e-l) confronting a frosty, destructive family secret has everything: Hooky songs from Robert “EGOT” Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, laughs aplenty, and a taut story that favors sisterly love over pretty princesses pining. (Warning: “Let it Go” is a massive earworm.) Click to buy! View Commentslast_img read more

Vermont construction employment gains back some jobs after big losses

first_imgVermont gained the second most construction-related jobs in November, but still ranks only 45th in the nation over the last year. Construction employment expanded in 20 states between October and November, while the list of states with year-over-year construction job gains grew to 13 states plus the District of Columbia, the Associated General Contractors of America reported in an analysis of state employment data released today by the Labor Department. The new figures continue a year-long pattern of mixed results in construction employment as overall demand remains weak, association officials noted.‘It is encouraging that the number of states adding jobs year-over-year was higher in November than at any time since February 2008,’ said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. ‘However, the data also make clear that these gains are as spotty as they are tenuous.’Simonson noted, for example, that California had the largest monthly increase in construction employment’adding 7,800 jobs’but also the largest 12-month drop’36,900 jobs, or 6.4 percent. New Jersey and New York had the next-highest number of construction job gains in November with 4,500. New Jersey also led the nation in monthly percentage gains (3.7 percent), followed by Vermont (3.4 percent, 400 jobs) and Maine (2.5 percent, 600 jobs).The largest year-over-year percentage gains occurred in Oklahoma (9.2 percent, 6,100 jobs), New Hampshire (6.7 percent, 1,500 jobs) and Kansas (4.7 percent, 2,700 jobs). Texas had the largest increase in the number of construction employees (13,400 jobs, 2.4 percent).Washington had the largest number of monthly job losses (4,200 jobs), followed by Utah (2,400 jobs) and North Carolina (2,300). In November, employment shrank in 29 states and held steady in D.C. and Alaska.On a year-over-year basis, the largest losses were in California (36,900 jobs, -6.4 percent), Nevada (16,600 jobs, -22.0 percent’the steepest percentage decline) and Florida (12,900 jobs, -3.6 percent). Other large year-over-year percentage declines occurred in Idaho (-15.5 percent, 5,100 jobs) and Montana (-11.2 percent, 2,700 jobs). In all, 36 states lost construction jobs over the past 12 months, while construction employment was unchanged in Massachusetts.Association officials cautioned that construction employment figures were likely to fluctuate and possibly drop over the coming months as many stimulus-funded projects begin to wind down and private-sector demand remains weak. They added that newly passed legislation that prevented steep tax increases, including for many small construction firms, will help boost overall economic activity and could drive new demand for construction later next year.‘The tax bill is a step in the right direction because it will revitalize the economy and help boost private-sector construction demand,’ said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. ‘But Congress still needs to act on long-delayed infrastructure bills and provide businesses with relief from an increasingly costly regulatory burden.View construction employment figures by state and by rank.last_img read more

CFPB Director Richard Cordray speech raises CUNA’s ire

first_img 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr A Dec. 3 speech given by CFPB Director Richard Cordray struck a chord with CUNA.In his speech, which took place at the Consumer Federation of America’s Financial Service Conference, Cordray said the agency routinely hears that the cost of protecting consumers constricts the availability of credit and even drives some financial services providers out of business altogether. continue reading »last_img

MED5 FCU kick-starts community mask initiative

first_img continue reading » A South Dakota credit union CEO has leveraged a single donation into a community effort to provide supplies for frontline workers battling the coronavirus (COVID-19).Pam Brown-Graff was watching the local evening news April 5 when she saw a segment highlighting the need for protective medical masks to protect workers at facilities including Monument Health, a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in Rapid City, S.D.That evening, Brown-Graff, CEO of $79 million asset MED5 Federal Credit Union in Rapid City, pledged $2,000 on behalf of the credit union to support crafters who were making masks for the local community.“Before we became a community charter, we were a medical credit union, so it really hit home with me,” Brown-Graff says. CUNA photocenter_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Over 300 million Chinese watched a show about Croatia

first_imgOne of the most famous Chinese shows “Day Day Up”, which presents the beauties of Croatia, was broadcast on 15.12.2017 on Hunan TV. The show was watched by over 300 million viewers, and through Chinese social media, the show is expected to be seen by up to a billion viewers. In mid-October last year, a large expedition of journalists, actors, producers and other supporting staff of one of the most famous and influential Chinese shows “Day Day Up” arrived in Croatia to record a show about Croatia.The show was recently broadcast on Hunan TV, and the Chinese estimate that it was watched by an incredible 300 million people, while viewership on all platforms will reach even more viewers. The show, according to Chinese media, affects public opinion, and especially where the Chinese will travel and which country they will choose for their vacation, writes Free Dalmatia.They filmed like that in Zagreb, Dubrovnik, they tasted our specialties. Croatia, among others, was represented by Ana Rucner, Maksim Mrvica, Miroslav Ćiro Blažević, Jelena Rozga, Folklore Ensemble “Linđo”… Famous Chinese leaders and actors learned to dance local traditional dances, listened to our music, and the show was designed as an order education, dir church and the order of entertainment.By the way, the entire support for the production of this show was in charge of the company Baludiči film, which has already made numerous tourist films and reports, such as Dubronik & Time which has won more than 14 international awards as the best tourist film and are the organizers of the Zagreb TourFilm festival.It can already be said that this is the biggest advertisement of our tourism since independence, which will certainly start a new big “wave” of tourists from China.Related news:TOURIST FILM SITIA – SO HARD TO SAY GOODBYE! WON THE GRAND PRIX AT THE ZAGREB TOURFILM FESTIVAL”DUBROVNIK & TIME” SELECTED AMONG THE 10 BEST TOURIST FILMS IN THE WORLDlast_img read more