FTC Launches Suit to Block Merger of CCC and Mitchell

The Federal Trade Commission has filed suit to block the merger of CCC Information Services Inc. and Mitchell International Inc., charging that the merger would hinder competition in the market for electronic systems used to estimate the cost of collision repairs, known as “estimatics,” and the market for software systems used to value passenger vehicles that have been totaled, known as total loss valuation (TLV) systems. The FTC’s administrative complaint alleges that the merger, which is valued at $1.4 billion, would harm insurers, repair shops and, ultimately, U.S. car owners by reducing from three to two the number of competitors in the two related businesses.

“These estimating and valuation solutions are key tools in the auto insurance and collision repair industries,” said Acting Bureau of Competition Director David P. Wales. “There is no doubt that this merger would reduce competition that benefits auto insurers and auto body shops and ultimately would lead to higher prices and less innovation for consumers.” More...