Bloomberg News

Almunia Says No Evidence Audit Firms Breaching Antitrust Rules

February 24, 2012

Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) -- The European Commission is “following closely” a probe of the audit market by U.K. antitrust authorities, while having no evidence that the industry has breached EU competition law, the EU’s antitrust chief said.

“The top-end of the audit market is highly concentrated, with ‘the Big Four’ audit firms being the main suppliers,” EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in a written response to a parliamentary question published on the EU’s website today. The market for “services to small and medium- sized enterprises is less concentrated however, with mid-tier and smaller audit firms competing effectively with the Big Four,” he said in the response, which is dated Feb. 16.

“Currently, the commission is not investigating the concentration in the audit market,” Almunia said. “For the moment, there is no evidence pointing to possible EU competition law infringements.”

--Editor: Jones Hayden

To contact the reporters on this story: Jim Brunsden in Brussels at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at

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