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E.C. delays findings of insurance industry probe


[BRUSSELS]—The European Commission has confirmed that its interim report into competition in the business insurance sector—launched in the summer of last year—will not be ready until January and could even slip into February.

The Commission sent detailed questionnaires to leading insurance trade bodies at the end of 2005, and to individual insurance companies and brokers in early 2006.

It intended to use this information as the basis for an interim report planned for the end of this year.

But a spokeswoman for the Commission said that the interim report being prepared by the Competition Directorate had been delayed because of "administrative reasons" and "various planning purposes."

The spokeswoman declined to give any more details, but conceded that it could even "slip to early February."

The European Commission will hold a public hearing on February 12 to debate its report. The meeting will form part of a 10-week consultation period that will enable third parties to respond to the interim report and help the Commission prepare the final report which is expected in June next year.

The purpose of the inquiry is to determine whether the structure of the business insurance market in Europe is distorting or restricting competition.

Editor's note:Read the full version of this breaking news story, together with more news and analysis, in the latest issue of Business Insurance Europe, Europe's dedicated risk management newspaper. Please visit