The parents of two students of an independent school, Lancing College (Lancing), have issued a claim for damages before the Competition Appeal Tribunal against Lancing. The claim follows on from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) 2006 infringement decision, where 50 independent schools (including Lancing) had illegally exchanged information regarding tuition fees and price increases. The independent schools benefited from some leniency over the level of fines imposed by the OFT, which took into account the fact that they were not-for-profit organisations, the fact that they had admitted to participation in the illegal information exchange and their offer to make ex-gratia payments of £3m to fund an education trust for former students. This settlement with the OFT, however did not prevent claimants from bringing private actions for damages. The parents are seeking compensation for the over payment of school fees, interest and legal costs.
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