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Competition Commission "in breach" of law

04 October 2013

The Competition Commission has been found to have unfairly blocked private hospital groups from defending themselves. Yesterday (Wednesday 2 Oct, 2013) a Competition Appeals Tribunal hearing, upheld a complaint by BMI Healthcare backed by HCA and Spire.

The judgement found that the Competition Commission, who sharply criticised the industry over pricing in a long overdue report last month, had restricted access to the data supporting their case to an extent that the companies were unfairly constrained in preparing a reasoned response.

HCA, who have been threatened with divestment by the Competition Commission Investigation’s statement of Potential Remedies, strongly welcome the tribunal result.

Keith Biddlestone, Commercial Director of HCA International, said: “The Competition Commission have launched an attack on our prices without revealing how their conclusion was drawn. They left us with no reasonable way of defending ourselves. Their Provisional Findings and Potential Remedies reports were also significantly delayed. The outcomes of this hearing means that we should be given more time and access to information to understand and respond to the CCs assertions.

“There are 74 private hospitals in the Greater London area and HCA own just six of them. Our crime appears to be that we have made them the best run hospitals in the city and attracted more than 30% of private admissions in the capital.”

The full judgement may be read here: http://www.catribunal.org.uk/237-8168/1218-6-8-13-BMI-Healthcare-Limited.html                                          

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