The OFT has provisionally decided to refer the market for statutory audit services to large companies to the CC.

The OFT says that it has been concerned about the market for some time, and in May 2011 it decided that the statutory test for a reference to the CC had been met. Since then, and before making a reference to the CC, the OFT has been trying to establish whether there was a reasonable chance that appropriate remedies would be available to the CC.

There are only four large players in the market, and the OFT says that there are substantial barriers to entry and switching.

Interested parties can respond to the provisional decision by sending written representations to the OFT before 9 September 2011.