CMA to investigate price comparison websites
The watchdog said its reviews of the private motor insurance, energy and banking sectors have highlighted how price comparison websites can play a powerful role in increasing competition and helping consumers find better deals and switch.
The new study will consider how to maximise the benefits of digital comparison tools for consumers and reduce any barriers to how they work.
It will also take into account concerns such as whether consumers would benefit from being made more aware of how DCTs earn money and what impact this might have on their services.
It will also look into whether arrangements between DCTs and suppliers might restrict competition.
CMA acting CEO Andrea Coscelli said: "Digital comparison tools have played a big part in changing markets for the better, bringing new ways of doing things and forcing businesses to up their game. Consumers have benefited as choice and access to goods and services have grown.
"Since emerging a decade or so ago, such tools have helped to inject significant competition into a number of markets, including private motor insurance.
"They have made it easier for consumers to engage in many markets. However, they have been more successful in some sectors than others.
"We want to understand why this is the case and whether more can be done to ensure consumers and businesses can benefit from them more widely." ■