The Commission has launched sector inquiries in financial services in the European Union in the areas of retail banking and business insurance. The inquiries will examine whether competition is working in these markets and whether markets are competitive enough to deliver their full benefits to consumers.
The Commission will begin its inquiries with an investigation into retail banking, and in particular payment cards. The inquiries into other aspects of retail banking and into business insurance will follow later in 2005.
In particular, the competition sector inquiries will gather information in the retail banking and business insurance sectors with a view to identifying possible distortions of competition that can be addressed under EC Treaty rules on restrictive business practices and abuse of monopoly power (Articles 81 and 82), either by the Commission or by national competition authorities within the European Competition Network. If the inquiries reveal the existence of anticompetitive practices the Commission is prepared to take appropriate measures to restore competition in the relevant markets.
The main results of the inquiries will be published from 2006.
© European Commission
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