A study commissioned by the United Kingdom's accounting regulator and the U.K. Department of Trade and Industry said that the dominance of the Big Four is not healthy for competition and prevents small and midsized firms from gaining entry into blue-chip clients.

The study, "Competition and Choice in the U.K. Audit Market," considers several factors that contribute to the competitive environment for audit services to the U.K.'s large public companies. Conducted by independent consulting firm Oxera, the study is based on research involving audit committees, companies, firms, investors and regulators.

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