Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Cambridge MP Attacks Competition Commission Over City Monopolies

MP Julian Huppert has attacked the Competition Commission for failing to act against the monopolies which exist within Cambridge’s supermarket and bus travel sector while forcing the sale of the Cambridge Arts Picturehouse.

He claims the Commission has failed to stop big companies dominating other markets in the city but instead has ruled that Cineworld must sell either the Picturehouse or its other city cinema.

“We have seen the Competition Commission sit back while our independent companies have been put under threat by giant businesses moving into our city and dominating the market place,” he said. “Yet it has moved swiftly to threaten a cinema which is highly regarded and extremely valuable to Cambridge regardless of the fact that so many people have spoken out.

“The Commission has got its priorities completely wrong. It needs to rethink this decision.”

Julian Huppert will join campaigners outside Cambridge’s Arts Picturehouse this afternoon (Wednesday, October 9) to protest about the decision.

He will ask passers-by to sign his petition which opposes the Competition Commission’s decision.

Julian will also raise the issue in Parliament and is taking the case to Business Secretary, Vince Cable in a bid to reverse the decision.

He said: “I hope as many people as possible will come and support this demo. The Arts Picturehouse offers a completely different programme to the bigger cinemas and once it is gone it is likely that those events will be lost.”

Julian’s petition can be found here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1463tUcplT2xkimxN4qXC0DK2omTKYNU4f3j1CilsOJE/viewform

The demo will take place this afternoon (Wednesday, October 9) at 5.15pm outside the Arts Picturehouse.

Julian’s petition reads: Cambridge Arts Picturehouse: The Competition Commission has got it wrong!

We the undersigned support Julian Huppert MP in opposing the decision of the Competition Commission that Cineworld should sell one of its Cambridge cinemas. We believe the Competition Commission should focus on tackling the monopolies in the bus and supermarket sectors in Cambridge rather than cinemas. The Arts Picturehouse provides a unique service to Cambridge residents and the decision of the Competition Commission puts this in doubt. We call on the Competition Commission to rethink this decision and focus their efforts on where the real monopolies are.