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Are the Brits Getting Serious About a Big 4 Antitrust Probe?

Now that everyone (well, not everyone) has fully recovered from Royal Wedding 2011, it’s time to get to the bottom of this.

A U.K. House of Lords committee investigating the financial crisis said in a March report that the firms, which audit 99 of the 100 largest U.K. companies, should be probed by the London- based Office of Fair Trading to determine whether their market dominance wrongfully limits choice. The probe could be the most high-profile for the agency since it investigated banks’ equity underwriting practices — an inquiry that closed without any action being taken.

The OFT would help determine whether loan terms unfairly favor Deloitte LLP, Ernst & Young LLP, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and KPMG LLP, said Robert Bell, an antitrust lawyer in London with Speechly Bircham. The agency, which has kept the industry under review since 2002, will make a decision on the probe later this month, said spokeswoman Kasia Reardon.

‘Big Four’ Audit Firms May Face U.K. Antitrust Investigation This Month [Bloomberg]