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MSG "has broken competition law"

MSG

Monday 13 July 2020

MSG "has broken competition law"


The MSG has been found to have breached competition law by imposing "excessively broad restraint of trade restrictions" on its ex-consultants, in a provisional judgment.

The restrictions prevent ex-MSG consultants from offering certain medical services in Guernsey for between eighteen months and five years after they leave the MSG.

The Guernsey Competition & Regulatory Authority (GCRA)  is concerned that these clauses could restrict competition for the provision of those medical services in Guernsey, for example by leading to waiting times for medical treatment to be longer or treatment to be more expensive than would be the case if alternative providers were available.

In recent years, the MSG has struggled to keep up with the demand for some types of surgery, especially orthopaedics, while the covid-19 pandemic has seen waiting lists swell to over 1,000.

"Restrictive covenants are commonplace in partnership agreements and are used to protect the business of the partnership," said GCRA CEO Michael Byrne. "But they should not go beyond what is necessary and so restrict fair competition in the market to the detriment of those in need of medical care.

"In this case, we are concerned that the duration and scope of the restrictions imposed by MSG went beyond what was necessary and so potentially stifled choice."

This is the GCRA's provisional finding and the MSG now has the chance to make representations to the GCRA before it reaches a final decision.

Any sanction that the MSG faces will not be known until a final decision has been reached and the MSG has been found guilty or not guilty. 

Pictured top: The MSG. 

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