Competition and Markets Authority

Drugs firms accused of illegal market sharing

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The Competition and Markets Authority has provisionally found that four pharmaceutical companies broke the law by agreeing not to compete in the supply of an anti-nausea drug in the UK.

The competition watchdog alleges that the four agreed not to compete for the supply of prescription-onlycma 3mg dissolvable or "buccal" tablets to the NHS.

Prochlorperazine is a drug used to treat nausea and dizziness.

Sainsbury's-Asda merger 'would have harmed competition'.
The competition watchdog blocks the Sainsbury's-Asda merger, warning it would leave consumers worse off.

Accountancy: It takes two

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

KPMG office front

The competition regulator, the CMA, has published a report calling for the big four accountants to give ground and for the path to be eased for "challenger" audit firms to compete with them.

Alarm bells have rung over recent accountancy blunders, such as Carillion and Patisserie Valerie.

The report proposes having firms audited by two accountants at a time, so that smaller firms start to build up more capacity.

CMA chair Andrew Tyrie says that in the end, the UK should be in a position where we can afford a big four firm to go under.

"We’ve got to get to the point where there's more resilience in the market. We're suggesting five, six or maybe seven [big accountancy firms] as a minimal level," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

In the papers

The Guardian front cover
The Guardian

In the papers today - the Guardian reports that half of England is owned by only 1% of the population.

Major owners include the Queen, the Duke of Buccleuch and entrepreneur James Dyson.

And Tesla has published its first sustainability report, in which it reveals that it has saved over 4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere since it started selling cars.

Plus, Deutsche Bank faces fines and legal action over its alleged role in a $20bn Russian money laundering scheme, the Guardian reports.

In other news, a senior source close to Crossrail has told the BBC that the new railway could be delayed until 2021.

And finally, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has recommended a major shake-up of the UK's accountancy market.