Compare the Market has been handed a £17.9m fine from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
The fine was following an investigation that showed the website was preventing home insurers from listing lower prices on rival comparison sites.
The CMA said today: “As a result, competition between price comparison websites, and between home insurers selling through these platforms, was restricted. The CMA found that this is likely to have resulted in higher insurance premiums.”
Compare the Market hit back at the CMA’s investigation and fine, saying: “We fundamentally disagree with the conclusions the CMA has drawn and will be carefully examining the detailed rationale behind the decision and considering all of our options.”
Michael Grenfell, executive director of enforcement at the CMA, commented: “Price comparison websites are excellent for consumers. They promote competition between providers, offer choice for customers, and make it easier for consumers to find the best bargains.”
“It is therefore unacceptable that ComparetheMarket, which has been the largest price comparison site for home insurance for several years, used clauses in its contracts that restricted home insurers from offering bigger discounts on competing websites – so limiting the bargains potentially available to consumers.”