The Auction Acts Changed in UK

The law in England and Wales has been changed to make it easier to prosecute illegal bidding practice. Regularly, art dealers bid at auction in partnership with other art dealers. They agree to keep the price of property offered at auction artificially low by not competing against each other in the auction room. One of them bid on a lot, and at the end of the auction, they conduct a second, private auction, during which the lot is re-sold to the highest bidder among them. The difference between the public auction price and the second, private auction price is divided among those members. This type of auction practice is illegal in the UK. It distorts competition and can discourage other bidders from participating in the auction. It deprives the seller of the true value of his property and has a detrimental effect on the level of the auctioneer’s commission.

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