CMA to take second look

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is to undertake another look into the workings of price comparison websites.

An updated paper on its market study into digital comparison tools (DCTs), published today (Tuesday 28 March) which identifies four areas of possible concern, which will form the focus for the second phase of the market study.

The areas of concern relate to whether sites could be more transparent; whether the benefits that DCTs can offer could be further improved; certain practices and contractual arrangements that could limit healthy competition; and the way DCTs are regulated. The CMA is seeking further views on these areas as it continues the study.

Andrea Coscelli, CMA acting chief executive, said, ‘Our work so far suggests that digital tools like price comparison websites generally work well for consumers, who really value the service they provide. However, our report suggests that improvements may be necessary to help more people get even better deals.

‘Among the areas we wish to consider further are what can be done to increase confidence among consumers and how to improve competition, regulation and transparency in the sector. We are now seeking further views on these issues as part of our wide-ranging market study.’

The final report will be published by 28 September 2017.