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Posted: 10th July 2024

CMA publishes Issues Statement
The CMA invites responses to the document before midnight on 30 July 2024.
Interested parties are encouraged to comment on the issues raised.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has released its Issues Statement, which details its initial concerns about the small pets veterinary market.

It has also opened a consultation into the document, inviting interested parties to respond to its concerns and proposed remedies before 30 July.

Within its Issues Statement, the CMA has explained which areas of the market it intends on exploring during its investigation, and the evidence and information it will be sourcing to reach its conclusions.

The CMA has also raised some of the potential remedies it could implement, if it finds a concern could cause an adverse effect on competition.

However the document affirms that its initial concerns do not represent a pre-judgement of an adverse effect, nor does it assume that any adverse effects will be identified. It states that any hypothesis could change in the process of the investigation, and that no remedies will be implemented until an adverse effect is identified.

The statement is designed to lay out a framework for the CMA’s approach to its market investigation. With the authority given an 18-month timetable to complete its investigation, the structure has been made in consideration of the complexity and size of the market.

As part of its process, a group of independent members will decide whether certain features of the market may prevent, restrict or distort competition in the veterinary market.

Where an adverse effect is identified, the group will decide whether the CMA and other bodies should take action. It will then consider what can be done to remedy, mitigate or prevent the issue from reoccurring.

Alongside a series of potential issues and remedies, the Issues Statement sets out six specific queries, which it is encouraging parties to respond to with general observations or views. It will invite those interested to hearings and roundtables, where topics will be open to discussion.

Comments and suggestions can also be made on the approaches and methodologies that the CMA employs, providing they are supported with relevant reasoning and evidence.

Responses to the Issues Statement must be made in writing, before midnight on 30 July 2024, by emailing vetsMI@cma.gov.uk.

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