View recent press releases, speeches, and news items published by month.
The OFT has launched a market study into private motor insurance, focusing on the provision of third party vehicle repairs and credit hire replacement vehicles to claimants. The decision was prompted by responses to a recent call for evidence, which identified potential competition problems. The OFT's work also suggests that UK premiums rose by around 12 per cent between 2009 and 2010.
The OFT is consulting on whether to refer the UK private healthcare market to the Competition Commission for further investigation. This follows a market study which provisionally found a number of features that, individually or in combination, prevent, restrict or distort competition, limiting choice and value for patients.
A new paper by the OFT sets out the central role of competition as a driver for economic growth and innovation, which it argues is especially important at times of moderate growth and fiscal constraints. As well as the general relationship between competition and growth, it looks more specifically at how competition, and interventions by government or competition agencies, can contribute to the better use of economic resources.
New statistics show that used cars remain the top complaint to advice service Consumer Direct, and the OFT is continuing to take action to tackle such problems. Charges have been brought against an individual in connection with an investigation into suspected unlawful mileage adjustment - the OFT's 2010 market study into second hand cars estimated the potential loss to UK consumers from illegal car clocking to be up to £580m per year. The OFT also recently took enforcement action against Carcraft over concerns about its business practices when selling cars, finance and after-sale guarantees. And a Know Your Consumer Rights campaign has been launched to inform people about their basic rights when buying a used car.
The First-tier Tribunal recently ruled to strike out appeals made by the UK's biggest logbook loan businesses against the removal of their consumer credit licences. Log Book Loans had admitted that thousands of letters had been sent to borrowers falsely threatening to take legal action.
OFT CEO John Fingleton recently gave a speech to the Reed Smith Competition Forum, outlining the facts, figures and reasons underlying the OFT's work across its entire competition portfolio, from the Competition Act to mergers and markets work.
Independent research carried out by London Economics estimates that for each completed OFT competition enforcement case, up to 40 potential competition law infringements are deterred.
The OFT's market study into off-grid energy supply found that on the whole competition works well in this market, with consumers offered a good choice of suppliers. However the OFT does have concerns that some suppliers may not be treating their customers fairly and is currently examining practices further.
The OFT has referred the market for the supply of statutory audit services to large companies in the UK to the Competition Commission for further investigation due to concerns that the market is highly concentrated, with low levels of switching and substantial barriers to entry.
Members of a group of school suppliers in the public sector have given voluntary assurances to the OFT regarding the way they compete for business from schools in England. The assurances coincide with new guidance from the OFT to help public sector bodies understand when and how competition law applies to them.