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Competition Law

Analysis - debate - current awareness

21 FEB 2012

Competition Commission discusses concerns in respect of a proposed construction joint venture

The CC's provisional report published on 21 February identifies a number of concerns for the market for bulk cement that may arise in relation to the proposed joint venture between Anglo American's UK subsidiary, Tarmac Ltd, and Lafarge, which produce and supply cement, aggregates and other materials.

The CC concluded that the proposed transaction may substantially lessen competition in the markets for the supply of bulk cement, rail ballast and high purity limestone, and that it is also likely to affect the supply of primary aggregates to be used in construction in 23 local, regional or national markets. The CC is concerned that the joint venture may increase the likelihood of coordination in those markets and reduce competition for rail ballast and high purity limestone given the lack of alternative suppliers.

The CC will issue a final report by May of this year, in which it will either block the joint venture or require some of the companies' assets to be sold or excluded from the proposed transaction.

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