EU Closes Antitrust Investigation into International Group
The EU Commission has finished its two year investigation into the claim-sharing and joint reinsurance agreements in place within the marine insurance market, after concerns were raised regarding the dominance of the International Group’s 13 clubs.
Particular focus was paid to the International Group Agreement (IGA) and Pooling Agreement, which exists between the International Group of P&I Clubs.
Protection and Indemnity (P&I) insurance forms a crucial aspect of maritime trade, providing third party liability and pollution cover for risks that can reach into billions of dollars.
The EU found the International Group’s dominance of the P&I market particularly disconcerting, because the 13 individual clubs constituting the Group currently insure 90% of the world’s ocean-going tonnage.
The investigation was therefore opened in August 2010, following the expiration of the second ten-year exemption from the competition rules of the EU.
Regulators wanted to ensure agreements in place between the 13 clubs of the International Group were not restricting the access of commercial insurers and/or other mutual P&I insurers from entering the market.
Nevertheless, the European Commission stated “The market investigation was not sufficiently conclusive to confirm the Commission’s initial concern.”
Clearly this was welcomed by the International Group, which is currently working on some amendments to the IGA.
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