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Antitrust Law

UK Watchdog Agency Opens Investigation on Big 4 Accounting Firms

Posted May 17, 2011 10:47 AM CDT
By Stephanie Francis Ward

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The United Kingdom’s Office of Fair Trading has opened an investigation involving Big Four accounting firms, Bloomberg News reports.

The investigation involves allegations of accounting industry practices that stunt competition and block smaller rivals. It is broader than a prior OFT proposal to focus on bank loans forcing borrowers to use KPMG LLP, Deloitte LLP, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and Ernst & Young LLP for auditing services, according to Bloomberg News.

“We have been concerned for some time about the extent of competition in this market, with only four large players and substantial barriers to entry,” the agency’s executive director, Clive Maxwell, said in a statement released today.

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