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Marine Insurance Antitrust Probe Dropped by EU Regulators

European Union regulators dropped an antitrust probe into marine-insurance agreements among groups of ship owners, saying there wasn’t conclusive evidence that they unfairly shut out commercial insurers.

“The market investigation was not sufficiently conclusive to confirm the Commission’s initial concerns,” the European Commission said in an e-mailed statement today.

The commission started a probe in 2010 to examine certain provisions accompanying claim-sharing and joint-reinsurance agreements. The protection and indemnity agreements previously had a 20-year antitrust exemption that expired in February 2009.

The 13 members of the International Group of P&I Clubs, based in London, cover 95 percent of the world’s tankers, according to Andrew Bardot, the group’s secretary and executive officer. Members follow EU law to access the reinsurance pool, he said in January.

The International Group of P&I Clubs welcomed the decision on its website and said it’s working on some amendments to its International Group Agreement. The group said it had cooperated fully with regulators throughout the investigation.

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