Britains Office of Fair Trading issued a statement
on April 5 that it would request that the nations Competition
Commission begin an investigation into the U.K. classified
directories market. The OFT made the recommendation based
on its conclusion that the competition that has emerged recently
in the U.K. directories market has not produced results that
satisfy the agency. The agency appears to want highly distributed
market share, less profitable market leaders and less expensive
advertising choices for small businesses.
2001, the OFT has placed Yell Group, the market leader, under
a strict rate cap, equal to the rate of inflation (known as
the retail price index, or RPI) less 6 percent. From 1996
to 2001, the rate cap was RPI less 2 percent. The OFTs
announcement does not guarantee a renewal of the rate cap,
nor does it suggest that a rollback is very likely.