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LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s consumer watchdog could on Friday call on competition regulators to probe the motor insurance market just as its biggest player, Direct Line, enters a critical phase in its planned stock market listing, London’s biggest in over a year.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT), which in May provisionally recommended the industry be investigated on the grounds that “dysfunctional” competition forces up the cost of car insurance, will make a final decision on Friday, a spokesman said.

The watchdog’s provisional recommendations for an investigation by the Competition Commission are usually followed by a formal referral.

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