CompareTheMarket fundamentally disagrees with the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) conclusion that the price comparison website breached competition law.
A CompareTheMarket spokesperson told MoneySavingExpert following the CMA’s 19 November ruling, in which the regulator found that the price comparison website had imposed wide ‘most favoured nation’ clauses on providers of home insurance selling through its platform: “We fundamentally disagree with the conclusions the CMA has drawn and will be carefully examining the detailed rationale behind the decision and considering all of our options.”
“For 14 years, CompareTheMarket.com and the other price comparison websites have revolutionised the way in which consumers shop for their insurance. In the past year alone, we have helped more than six million customers save money.”
The CMA fined CompareTheMarket just over £17.9 million for the competition law breach, carried out between December 2015 and December 2017.
CompareTheMarket imposed ‘most favoured nation’ clauses that prohibited certain home insurers from offering lower prices on its competitors’ websites and protected the price comparison website from being undercut elsewhere, resulting in restricted competition.
Michael Grenfell, executive director for enforcement at the CMA, said last week: “Price comparison websites are excellent for consumers. They promote competition between providers, offer choice for customers, and make it easier for consumers to find the best bargains.”
“It is therefore unacceptable that ComparetheMarket, which has been the largest price comparison site for home insurance for several years, used clauses in its contracts that restricted home insurers from offering bigger discounts on competing websites—so limiting the bargains potentially available to consumers.”