23 December 2021, Budapest – The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) has launched an accelerated sector inquiry into the domestic market for SARS-CoV-2 antibody detection tests since it is likely that the retail price of domestically available products is high in European comparison. The Authority received several market signals in relation to the rapid tests.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, SARS-CoV-2 antibody detection tests are widely used worldwide. In Hungary, these diagnostic products are popular both in the healthcare service sector and among the population for screening those infected with the coronavirus. During the coronavirus pandemic, the domestic demand for SARS-CoV-2 antibody detection tests has increased significantly.
The reasons behind the higher consumer price level compared to the European average will be explored by the national competition authority in an accelerated sector inquiry, in particular given that the market problem may affect a wide range of consumers.
In context of the inquiry, the market supply and the recent market developments will be assessed as well as the range of market players at different levels of the value chain and the prices they apply. To this end, the competition authority will send requests for information to a number of market players in the near future.
Following a public consultation, the GVH shall prepare a report presenting the findings of the inquiry. The time limit available to the GVH for the preparation of the draft report is one months which, where justified, may be extended on two occasions by a maximum of one months each.
The national competition authority is making considerable efforts to the investigation of market behaviours related to the Covid-19 pandemic, which affects a wide range of consumers. Recently and in June this year, the GVH imposed a fine due to a disinfectant products sold in a misleading manner during the pandemic and an investigation against Virostop spray is ongoing. In relation to at-home coronavirus tests, the GVH has already published detailed guidance document for consumers in the first phase of the pandemic.
GVH Press Office