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PN 79/02 22 November 2002
The OFT is to keep the accountancy and audit market under review, with the possibility of further action in the future, rather than make a reference now to the Competition Commission (CC) or launch its own market investigation. It has published a statement (pdf file, 60kb) outlining the reasons for the decision.
The OFT considered whether a market investigation or CC referral was appropriate to address competition concerns following the Enron affair and subsequent collapse of Andersen. The OFT recognises these concerns. However, the market structure is currently changing, the acquisition by Deloitte & Touche of Andersen UK was recently reviewed and cleared by the European competition authorities, and the market is already the subject of various reviews. The OFT therefore considers that now is not the time for a further investigation or CC referral.
The OFT will keep the market under review and will advise on any competition implications arising from any proposals for regulatory reform.
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