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Over 40 agencies agree to fund joint litigation against Agents' Mutual

Over 40 separate estate agencies have agreed to join forces to fund litigation against Agents’ Mutual, parent company of OnTheMarket.

The firms represent around 70 agency branches in total.

A statement overnight from Iain White, convenor of the OnTheMarket Action Group of around 200 rebel agents, claims those taking action believe they were misled by Agents’ Mutual over promises made on joining that their subscription fees would always be equal to, or lower than, members who joined at a later date.


White says it has now been suggested that, instead, Agents’ Mutual has been offering subscriptions at a much lower price, disadvantaging earlier members.

A spokesperson for OnTheMarket this morning said: "While we by no means take it lightly that some agents are feeling ‘disenfranchised', the broader context remains that the apparent supporters of Mr White’s ‘Action Group’ represent just over one per cent of our agents. The overwhelming majority of our member agents remain wholly supportive of OnTheMarket and of our shared long-term commitment to build the best portal for consumers and agents alike.

“As for the instigation of legal action against Agents' Mutual Limited for alleged misrepresentations made in relation to pricing policy, we have no reason to believe that there are any grounds for legal action. The board and management team of Agents’ Mutual have at every stage of the company’s inception and development taken suitable legal advice. We continue to take appropriate legal action to ensure that agents meet their contractual obligations.”

Today’s statement from White, a freelance consultant to the estate agency industry, says: “We are now instructing Tollers LLP to act for the Action Group. However, this is just the beginning of the process, not the end. Many agents remain undecided about how to proceed and their support will add strength to the Action Group’s position.”

He has repeated his appeal to agents still wishing to join the group to do so by Monday through contacting join@otmactiongroup.com

Ian Carson, a partner at Tollers, is believed to be the principal barrister acting for the group and has previously acted for claimants in multiple group litigation actions.

  • Trevor Mealham

    The demise of Agents Mutual will be:

    a. they charged different agents different subscriptions

    b. the created cartel like embargoes on other portals and digital platforms

    c. they created a membership ban on 'online only' agents

    d. they created anti-competitive arrangements in geographical areas

    e. they encouraged members in instances to offer consumers lessor visited portal presence than some consumers had enjoyed compromising clients best interest from their agents'

    f. they wrote to some agents on with other platforms such as mls's saying that they must take down their listings from said other platforms (anti-competitive)

    g. 9 AM directors colluded with 2 OTM directors (separate Companies under companies House) to create unfair trade rules as cartels do to restrict competition.

    Take your pick or select all of the above.

    Its now time that this anti-competitive collusion comes to an end. Lets hope the CMA Open letter of April 21st is the start sign that the CMA are now on the case in the interest of fair trade in the UK's biggest market place and all agents, portals and CONSUMERS can not be unfairly restrained by a few who think restraints on others and restraints now in some dominant instances such as geographical soon come to an end

    EU Antitrust Law 101 and 102 prohibiting companies to collude for the purposes of exerting unfair trade pressure on others now needs to kick in.


  • Trevor Mealham

    And, how the hell can NAEA support 1. 'online only' and 2. Hg Street agents yet its PPNAEA sits on the AM board that embargoes 'online only' agents.

    Government allow both models and so should ANY representative body in the UK

  • Trevor Mealham

    AM/OTM wants to be No.1. They have done extremely well to reach 7,000 members (and hats off to them for that). But any agent supporting needs to remember that if it did one day become No.1 and fo the fact it bans 'online only' it would be the biggest dominant abuse of unfair trade to those 'online only refused entry'

    Call it what you want. But this simple equation = TIME BOMB. Its not if. BUT WHEN

  • icon


    I wondered where you had been hiding.. So because OTM took some listings off your site the campaign starts again.

    What your saying is when OTM gets bigger they may have to stop refusing entry to certain agents, I guess you're right. Which says to me you think it is going to get 'that big' so it is going to be a success then.

    Having re-read the CMA letter again and again, I still cannot see the part where it says OTM are anti competitive and the one other portal rule is against the law? Agents and the public appear to me still to have choice, please point this out? All I can see is it says agents cannot collude to drop the same portal, which we knew in the first place and they appear to not of single out any agents that have done so.

    Trevor Mealham

    A number of our agents were threatened, many told OTM where to go understanding that a cartel such as AM/OTM should not restrain them from acting in their clients best interest.

    7000 agents is pretty big, as such Am/OTM cartel ways are a time bomb waiting to happen be it soon or after.

    You can't unbreak broken glass in a window, so the damage has been done. Already there are now places such as N Ireland where AM agents have aborted the No.1 portal and have left some online only agents in a minority (whilst excluding their entry).

    My concern as an agent would be that AM/OTM claims its entities are agent owned. As such does this make ALL members responsible for the creation and support of restraints on others.

  • icon

    I suspect the biggest of these issues is the collusion and this website have already demonstrated some of the evidence they have.

    If true, then this collusion will have extremely serious repercussions for those involved as well as the whole industry.

    Trevor Mealham

    Solid evidence has been passed to the CMA for sure

  • icon

    If there is collusion, why are the CMA not taking direct actions against these agents? I suspect this is a storm that has been whipped up by people with vested interests or who are looking to gain personally from this and win a few clients along the way.

  • Trevor Mealham

    The storm is self created by the AM/OTM cartel actions and restraints.

    All should see the CMA letter as a warning shot. And with warning shots all agents would be wise to check out: EU rules 101 and 102 as o dominant positions and cartel restraints.

    The fact 40 agents have piped up the £50k is a great stat. As the mentioned 200 agents wanting to take action would have more funds in the pot.

    At the meeting there was instances where singular agents present were representing 4-5 others.

    As such this rebel group could fast gain 1,000 agents.

    Those that swayed from RM and Z now appear to be the first of those wanting to sway out of AM/OTM

  • icon

    Will EAT please stop Trevor Mealham using the site as an unfettered medium for his own 'biased' opinions?


    "Can someone please take away Trevor's freedom of speech because I don't like what he's saying".

    Trevor Mealham

    Opinions Ray?? Hardly. More factual id say buddy :-)

    Maybe you should ask the European Commission to take down their 'bias' (no doubt in your view) on anti-trust behaviour found on:


    European antitrust policy is developed from two central rules set out in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union:

    Article 101 and article 102

    These are factual. Not my opinion. Read them and get over it.

  • icon

    Every individual has biased opinions. If our opinions were not biased we would all have the same opinion would we not??


    The bias I mention in this case is, in my opinion, the bias of his self-interest.

  • Sophie Allen

    Yes, let's silence the opinions of others Ray Evans. What a brilliant request.


    Please read my post fully.

    It is my opinion and I do not intend to enter a slanging match - there is too much in the industry already.

    Trevor Mealham

    And you have a right to that opinion Ray. Im happy that EAT allows you, I and others to voice our thoughts.

  • Trevor Mealham

    Thanks Sophie and B Mac B.

    If the Springett Mob can threaten agents with letter of anti-competitive comment, then I'm sure a few comments from others in forums can't hurt.

    Views other than AM/OTM have taken legal advice to warrant their behaviour to many others is tosh. All sides need to be heard so agents can ongoing have other views than propaganda.

    EAT and PIE are giving all voices place to be heard


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