Augusta backs claim against UK price comparison website

Augusta Ventures is backing a representative action against price comparison website ComparetheMarket.com in the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal. The claim is brought on behalf of over 20 million UK consumers who are alleged to have been overcharged for their home insurance.

The UK’s competition regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority, found that the website breached competition law and imposed a fine of almost £18 million. The CMA found that ComparetheMarket used unlawful clauses in its contracts with certain home insurers, which had the effect of reducing competition between price comparison websites and between insurers listing on those websites.

Home Insurance Consumer Action, led by consumer rights advocate Kate Wellington, intends to bring a claim on behalf of all UK consumers who purchased home insurance policies, which it believes were affected by ComparetheMarket’s unlawful conduct. Kate has instructed the law firm Hausfeld & Co. LLP to represent her in the claim. Hausfeld is a leading international law firm specialising in competition law, with significant expertise in all aspects of collective redress and group claims.

ComparetheMarket is currently appealing against the CMA’s decision and Home Insurance Consumer Action will ask the court to pause the claim pending the outcome of the appeal. If ComparetheMarket loses its appeal, Home Insurance Consumer Action will ask the court to certify the claim such that it can move to trial.

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