The Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) has backed down from its decision in the Market Investigation into Privately Funded Healthcare Services (the “PH Investigation”), which required HCA to divest some of the private hospitals it owns. The climb-down is another major setback for the PH Investigation, the latest of several for the CMA during what has been a troubled inquiry. It is concerning that this reversal comes only after the Competition Appeal Tribunal ordered the CMA to disclose key evidence supporting its conclusion. For a major competition inquiry to collapse simply following disclosure of the evidence is highly damaging to the CMA’s nascent reputation. The CMA will want to take urgent steps to improve matters for current high profile inquiries into energy and banking. Hopefully those steps will include a fundamental rethink of the approach to disclosure in ongoing and future investigations.
View full memo, CMA Forced to Backtrack on Hospital Divestments in Private Healthcare Market Investigation