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CMA orders Breedon Aggregates to divest plants and cap prices

As reported in the Competition Update on 7 April, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) was due to publish its final report on the merger between Breedon Aggregates and Aggregate Industries by 5 May. The report was published nearly one month earlier, on 9 April. It is the first merger report following a Phase 2 investigation published by the CMA since the new authority became operational on 1 April 2014, when it took over all competition functions from the now-defunct Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and Competition Commission (CC).

The CMA confirmed the CC’s preliminary findings that the acquisition of 11 aggregates quarries, four asphalt plants and nine RMX plants may result in higher prices for RMX in Peterhead and for asphalt in Aberdeen and Inverness. The CMA agreed with the CC that prices could be driven up due to a lack of alternative suppliers in the relevant markets, which are local in nature due to high haulage costs and, in the case of RMX, the perishability of the product…

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