OFT has announced that it is seeking commitments from a number of companies involved in the provision of motor insurance to terminate anti-competitive practices as to the exchange of broker pricing information through a product offered by Experian and SSP Limited, called Whatif? Private Motor. OFT was especially concerned that, by purchasing the Whatif? product, each of the insurers could obtain their competitors' advance pricing information. Through detailed analysis of that data, it thought the insurers could "reverse engineer" their competitors' rating models. OFT thinks this creates a significant risk of collusive behaviour by creating a level of transparency that would enable the insurers to understand each of their potential rivals' pricing intentions. It proposes to agree commitments with a number of the major motor insurance providers, SSP and Experian which will substantially modify the information made available through the Whatif? product in the future. In particular, insurers will no longer be provided with future pricing data (such data being only made available to brokers) and the pricing data provided to them will be in an aggregated and anonymised form, averaged across a minimum number of insurers. OFT thinks this will ensure that the only information in general circulation is that which properly helps to facilitate increased competition amongst insurers. OFT has published a draft set of commitments on which it is asking for comments from any interested third parties with a view to issuing a formal commitments decision in due course. OFT has also said it is aware that similar practices are likely to be occurring across many other insurance lines. So this investigation and the commitments decision to follow should be seen as a warning to the industry to ensure it is in full compliance with the competition law rules in the future. OFT asks for comments on the draft commitments by 14 February. (Source: 04/11 and OFT 1301)