The CMA has published an update paper in its market study of digital comparison tools. The one year market study was launched in September 2016 and this report marks the halfway stage.

The report sets out some interesting findings. In particular, the CMA highlights that both ‘wide’ and ‘narrow’ price parity clauses (i.e. clauses aimed at ensuring the DCT in question has the lowest price) can give rise to competition law concerns  The CMA also highlights ‘negative matching’ when bidding for Google AdWords as a potentially problematic restriction.  

Enforcement action is therefore a very real possibility on the back of the market study.  Businesses should review their agreements now for competition law compliance, particularly if they contain these kinds of restrictions.

The market study may also be followed by 'cross-sector principles for DCTs’, aimed at addressing the inconsistent and patchy regulatory rules currently applicable to DCTs across different sectors.  Measures to improve DCTs’ access to data are also possible.

Read our briefing here: