Competition Commission delays audit inquiry findings

THE COMPETITION COMMISSION has delayed publishing the findings of its investigation into the audit market.

The UK watchdog, which began investigating the Big Four’s dominance of the FTSE 350 audit market last year, will now publish the provisional findings in January. The initial findings had been due next month.

As a result of the delay, the commission’s final findings will not be published until August next year.

A Competition Commission spokesperson gave no specific reason for the delay, commenting that moving administrative timetables back was quite common.

However, the commission has still to publish two working papers – one on profitability and one on principal agents – that will be key to its overall findings.

The delay could affect the European Commission’s plans to reform the structure of the audit market, which include the imposition of mandatory audit rotation, joint audits and constricting the provision of non-audit services.

Final amendments to the EC’s proposal are due out by 11 November.

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