The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission says it has started an examination of information provided to it in relation to potential anti-competitive conduct in the private nursing home sector.
It says competition law requires businesses to act independently in setting the price of the goods or services that they supply, and the conditions under which they supply them.
The Commission says that following recent media reports, it has been monitoring the situation in the private nursing home sector and in recent days, information has been provided to it which raises serious concerns.
If the CCPC finds sufficient grounds, it says it will proceed to open an investigation to establish whether a breach of competition law has occurred.
As the CCPC is at an early stage of this examination, it said it cannot provide any further comment.
Nursing Homes Ireland has said it will cooperate fully with the competition authority.
NHI said it is confident that it does not have a case to answer and that the outcome of this preliminary process will arrive at the same conclusion in due course.