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Italian hearing aid market lacks transparency, regulator says

Italian hearing aid market lacks transparency, regulator says

ROME (Reuters) – The retail market for hearing aids in Italy – dominated by domestic player Amplifon – lacks transparency on pricing and services offered, the country’s competition authority said on Tuesday.

The Italian competition authority (AGCM) flagged the issue to parliament, the health and economy ministries and other national and regional bodies at the end of an investigation it initiated in September.

“Consumers struggle to obtain clear information, both on technical aspects and on the price of (hearing) devices and related services, which are usually sold combined and without any distinction,” the AGCM said in a statement.

The antitrust regulator also detected problems with the procedures regulating the purchase of hearing aids by the national health service, and suggested a recourse to public tenders or vouchers for patients to boost competition.

Shares in Amplifon are down 4% at 0812 GMT following AGCM’s statement.


(Reporting by Alvise Armellini, editing by Cristina Carlevaro)


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