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Insurers give undertakings to Irish Competition Authority on Glassmatix adoption

In a judgement that will be of particular interest to the British BRIC bodyshop industry campaign, the Irish Competition Authority has published a Decision Note (published in full at its website www.tca.ie) outlining undertakings given by a consortium of four insurers concerning their joint implementation of the Glassmatix collision repair estimating system in the Irish Republic.

The four companies, Allianz Ireland plc, Axa, Hibernian and Royal Sun Alliance have between them a 65-70% share of the Irish motor insurance market.

The Authority had mounted an investigation, with concerns that the consortium may have used the system as a means to fix the price of vehicle repairs, and “to promote conditions conducive to collusion in setting insurance premiums”. The insurers have agreed to refrain from conduct which could prevent the realisation of consumer benefits that should in the Authority's view flow from the cost savings inherent in the replacement of opinion-based estimating systems by Glassmatix. The insurance consortium will not be permitted to enforce the exclusive use of Glassmatix by its suppliers, nor to share information relating to bodyshops' labour rates and other costs.

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