PracticeConsultingFat cat accountants face probe on fees after fears over anti-competitive practices

Fat cat accountants face probe on fees after fears over anti-competitive practices

The Office of Fair Trading is launching an enquiry into anti-competitive behaviour by accountancy firms and other professional partnerships.

The competition watchdog confirmed yesterday that it had been asked by the UK government to look into the impact of an exemption of lawyers and accountants from the new Competition Act, which came into force on March 1.

It said it was asked to investigate these two areas, which together are worth more than £25bn, because of their importance to consumers.

The inquiry is likely to focus on areas that keep fees artificially high.

First, rules that restrict entry to the profession, secondly, rules that prevent law or accountancy firms from advertising or competiting on price, and thirdly, laws which force people to use qualified professionals for certain activities.

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