Competition watchdog probes heavy materials

Aaron Morby 12 years ago
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The OFT has referred the British aggregates, cement and ready-mix concrete industries to the Competition Commission for investigation.

Watchdog chiefs will now launch a probe to see if market business practices restrict or distort competition.

The decision follows a public consultation on the OFT’s announcement to refer last August.

In particular, the OFT said it was concerned about structural features of the materials’ markets and had reasonable grounds for suspecting that these were preventing, restricting or distorting competition.

John Fingleton, OFT Chief Executive, said: “Competitive, well-functioning markets are important to drive economic growth and keep costs low.

“The aggregates, cement and ready-mix concrete markets are part of the larger construction industry which provides vital inputs across the British economy.

“Following public consultation, we continue to have concerns that these markets are not working well. As a result we are referring them to the Competition Commission for further investigation.”

The Commission will shortly appoint members to its inquiry group and publish a timetable setting out  a schedule for the various stages of the investigation.

It has invited interested parties to provide views to assist in identifying the key issues. Documents must be received by 17 February .

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