May 15 2018

EU launches antitrust probe of Irish auto insurance market

#marsh #auto #insurance


European Commission inspectors raided at least four insurance brokers in Ireland as part of an investigation into possible antitrust activity in the motor insurance market, the European Union said Tuesday.

A statement on the commission’s website does not mention the names of the companies involved, but a story by the Irish Times said E.U. inspectors paid unannounced inspections at the Dublin offices of Aon P.L.C. and Marsh Ltd. and two Irish firms, Campion Insurances Ltd. and Wright Insurance Brokers.

The inspectors took data and material from the four companies, the Times reported.

“The Commission has concerns that the companies involved may have engaged in anti-competitive practices in breach of E.U. antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices and/or abuse of a dominant market position,” the E.U. said in a statement. “The Commission officials were accompanied by their counterparts from the Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.”

An Aon representative said Friday in a statement that “Aon’s Dublin office was visited by the European Commission as part of a wider investigation.”

“Aon takes compliance and regulatory issues extremely seriously and is working diligently with the European Commission, while at all times remaining focused on clients and their needs,” the statement said.

Marsh is part of the investigation and is cooperating with it, a spokeswoman said.

The E.U. statement said that “unannounced inspections are a preliminary step into suspected anti-competitive practices,” and added that the inspections does not mean the companies in question are guilty of anti-competitive behavior.

“There is no legal deadline to complete inquiries into anti-competitive conduct,” the EU statement continued. “Their duration depends on a number of factors, including the complexity of each case, the extent to which the companies concerned co-operate with the Commission and the exercise of the rights of defense.”

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