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Italian Competition Authority Launches Probe into Italy's Hearing Aid Market

Italy's AGCM has initiated an inquiry into the country's hearing aid market, citing transparency concerns
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Italy makes up about 4% of worldwide hearing aid sales, and the leading hearing aid distributor is Milan-based Amplifon, which has about a 40% market share in Italy.

The Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) issued a press release yesterday stating it has initiated an investigative inquiry into the country's hearing aid market.

According to the Authority, hearing aids represent a significant expenditure for both consumers and Italy’s National Health System. It says current market conditions do not seem to ensure full price transparency for products and related services.

AGCM’s says its main concerns for the investigative inquiry in the Italian hearing aid market include:

  1. Commercial dynamics and the evolution of demand and supply for hearing aids, taking into account technological innovations in the products and services, as well as recent changes in the relevant regulations;
  2. Existence of competitive issues in the hearing aid markets, with specific reference to Italy and current regulations, and
  3. Efficiency and issues related to the acquisition of hearing aids by public healthcare-related facilities.

AGCM has also initiated a public comment period on the above topics, with submissions accepted at IC55@agcm.it within the next 30 days (deadline: October 24, 2023).

Italy makes up about 4% of worldwide hearing aid sales, and the leading hearing aid retailer is Milan-based Amplifon, which has an estimated 40% market share in Italy and is the world's largest hearing aid distributor. In the United States, Amplifon owns Miracle-Ear and Amplifon Hearing Health Care. Reuters reported that Amplifon’s stock fell by 6.7% by 11:50 GMT, but market analysts believe the investigation will have little effect on other hearing-related stocks due to their limited sales in Italy.

Karl

Editor in Chief

Karl Strom is the editor-in-chief of HearingTracker. He was a founding editor of The Hearing Review and has covered the hearing aid industry for over 30 years.