Friday, 28 September 2012

OFT refers private motor insurance to the CC

The OFT announced today that it had referred the private motor insurance market to the CC ( This means that the OFT has made four market investigation references to the CC in the last twelve months which is a new record. By contrast, from June 2007 to June 2011 only one such reference was made by the OFT (local bus services). Given government concerns about the underutilisation of market investigations, it is difficult to see this change in pattern as a coincidence. Given that a new regime will be in place from April 2014, courtesy of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, it will be interesting to see if any further references are made between now and the start-up of the Competition and Markets Authority, although presumably there must be some provision for finishing off CC inquiries started before its abolition but finishing afterwards. With a fair wind, the private motor insurance market investigation could be finished in time for the start of the Competition and Markets Authority.