Sandison Easson Specialist Accountants Federation of Independent Practioner Organisations

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The Government’s proposals to develop a number of NHS and individual DTCs will be another driver for consultants to form working groups or chambers. A meeting to discuss this issue will be held on 7th October 2003:

FIPO - DTC event programme

Office of Fair Trading report into Anaesthetic practices

18 months ago AXA PPP complained to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) about a number of groups of anaesthetists from around the country who they argued were working as a local “cartel” with a fee setting programme which was contrary to the Competition Act. Extensive investigations by the OFT have now been published and no evidence of such cartels has been found. The groups concerned were all found to be working in different legal entities but were all essentially seen as “one undertaking”.

An undertaking, in the context of competition law, includes any natural or legal person capable of carrying on commercial or economic activities. It includes, inter alia, companies, firms, businesses, partnerships and individuals operating as sole traders (The Chapter I Prohibition, para 2.5)

Whilst this matter appears to have been resolved satisfactorily, The Chapter II Prohibition of the Act which deals with dominant trader positions was not explored in this Inquiry.

Article Added - June 2003