Modelling agencies fined £1.5m for price collusion

Models 1, Premier, Storm, FM Models and Viva are found to have fixed prices, colluding rather than competing

Neelam Gill, managed by Models 1, was named blinkbrowbars first official ambassador in 2015

Five major modelling agencies have been fined over £1.5m for colluding over prices.

Models 1, Premier, Storm, FM Models and Viva, and their trade association the Association of Model Agents (AMA), have been slapped with a £1,533,500 combined fine.

The CMA announced that its investigation – which commenced in March 2015 and was its first competition enforcement case in the creative industries – found evidence of price collusion and fixing from April 2013 to March 2015.

Illegal activity included exchanging information and discussing prices concerning negotiations with customers such as high-street chains, online fashion retailers and consumer goods brands.

John Wotton, Chair of the Case Decision Group, said: “Strong competition benefits consumers, the economy and society. When businesses collude rather than compete the ultimate losers are customers.”

He added: “This type of behaviour harms the economy and deprives businesses and consumers of the benefits of competition.”

Models 1 represents talent including Neelam Gill, who was the face of both Burberry Beauty and blinkbrowbar, while Storm manages Poppy Delevingne, who was named Jo Malone London’s first ever ambassador last year.

The CMA confirmed that the price fixing did not extend to the services of ‘top models’, but did range from fees of a few hundred pounds to advertising campaigns offering over £10,000.

Individual fines include: £394,000 for Models One, £150,000 for Premier, £491,000 for Storm, £251,000 for FM Model Agency, £245,000 for Viva and £2,500 for the AMA.