Changes to joint bidding rules under the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 clarify the obligations to be met.
However, at least one leading trade figure, who declined to be
named, told ATG that the changes should not lead to any feared
crackdown as dealers have been adhering to the tighter rules for
Section 47 under Part 4, Chapter 4 of the new Act amends section
188 of the Enterprise Act 2002.
Subsection 188 (6) of the 2002 Act, states that "arrangements
are not bid-rigging arrangements if, under them, the person
requesting bids would be informed of them at or before the time
when a bid is made."
That has now been tightened so that the person requesting the
information - the auctioneer - must be given relevant
information about the bidders before the bid is placed to
avoid committing an offence. And the amendment defines what
'relevant information' is:-
a) The names of the undertakings to which the arrangements
(b) A description of the nature of the arrangements which is
sufficient to show why they are or might be arrangements of the
kind to which section 188(1) applies,
(c) The products or services to which they relate, and
(d) Such other information as may be specified in an order made
by the Secretary of State.
In the case of a standard joint bidding agreement at a fine art
and antique auction, this effectively means that parties to the
agreement must submit their names in writing to the auctioneer,
along with details of the agreement itself, and the lot(s) to which
it applies, said the leading trade figure. And that is what dealers
have been doing for the best part of 20 years already, they
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