The CMA to launch formal investigation into vet pricing

12th March 2024

The veterinary sector has been in the news today following the announcement by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) that there will be a formal investigation into – amongst other matters – whether pet owners are overpaying for treatments.

The investigation – launched in September 2023 into veterinary services in England and Wales – will now become a formal market investigation following an unprecedented response to the initial inquiry.

The CMA’s concerns over pricing within the veterinary sector follows a consolidation within the sector over recent years. This consolidation has been the result of a significant increase of corporate acquisitions – which now account for over 50% of veterinary practice ownership. This, together with Brexit and the post-Covid ‘pet boom’ has impacted independent practice owners and pet owners alike.

The authority will now collate views via a consultation on the competition concerns, and will conclude its consultation period on 11 April 2024 before determining if intervention action is required to improve competition for consumers.

We will be monitoring the investigation by CMA and will be providing updates as they are published.

Please do get in touch with any of our Veterinary team if you have concerns how this may impact your business.

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