Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co

UK 200 2014 position: 28

Private health market: the Competition Commission makes another controversial decision

The Competition Commission, in its provisional findings published last summer, found several structural and conduct features in the private healthcare market that gave rise to adverse effects on competition. It found, for example, that there were high barriers to entry for full-service hospitals and that there were weak competitive constraints in a certain local markets. The Competition Commission had provisionally concluded that these features were likely to lead to higher prices for patients.

Indeed, the Competition Commission concluded that its ‘initial estimate of the detriment caused by the market power of HCA, BMI and Spire is between £173m and £193m a year between 2009 and 2011’. The hospital operators contest that they exercise market power or make excess profits at the expense of patients.

This month, it has published its provisional decision on remedies arising from its private healthcare market investigation…

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