Competition Bureau investigating Applied Systems

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Canada’s Competition Bureau has obtained a court order to advance a civil investigation into allegations of anti-competitive conduct by Applied Systems Inc. and its affiliates, including Applied Systems Canada Inc.

Both the Competition Bureau and Applied Systems replied in separate emails to Canadian Underwriter that there has been no finding of non-compliance at this stage of the investigation.

The Federal Court of Canada made the order on Nov. 14, 2023. It requires Applied Systems Canada to produce records and written information relevant to the bureau’s investigation.

The federal court order is not publicly available. The Competition Bureau by law is not able to confirm details of any complaint — or even if a complaint has been made — against Applied Systems.

“The Competition Bureau is investigating whether Applied Systems is engaging in conduct contrary to the restrictive trade practices provisions, including the abuse of dominance provision, of the Competition Act,” John Power, senior communications advisor for the Competition Bureau, told Canadian Underwriter in an email Monday. “Abuse of dominance occurs when a dominant business (or a group of businesses) engages in activity that substantially lessens or prevents competition in a market.

“The Bureau requires more information to determine if the alleged conduct is harming competition in Canada’s insurance technology (insurtech) industry. This includes examining certain practices that may impede insurtech firms from supplying competing products to insurance brokerages and brokers. The investigation is ongoing and there is no conclusion of wrongdoing at this time.”

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Applied Systems, a global software provider to the insurance industry, is aware of and cooperating with the bureau’s review process, Applied Systems’ chief legal counsel Rich Cohan told CU.

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“We believe Applied is in compliance with the Competition Act and we are confident that we will successfully resolve the investigation,” Cohan said in an emailed statement. “Our people remain committed to Applied’s mission to deliver innovation that creates more value for the entire global insurance value chain, and enable brokerages, insurers, and partners to safeguard and protect what matters most to millions of people around the world.”

Operating in the United States, Canada, Ireland, and the U.K., Applied Systems has 160,000 customers across the globe.

Insurtech firms provide specialized technology products and services to insurance brokerages and brokers, including rating engines, broker interface software, and broker management systems.

 

Feature image courtesy of iStock.com/ArtemisDiana