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CMA publishes final cement price announcement order

Competition & Markets Authority

Order prohibits GB cement suppliers from sending generic price announcement letters to customers

THE Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published its final order prohibiting GB cement suppliers from sending generic price announcement letters to their customers.

The CMA first consulted on the proposed order in September 2015 and, following changes made as a result of responses received, consulted on an amended version in December.

The order, which came into effect on 23 January 2016, sets out that suppliers of cement and cementitious products in Great Britain (GB) will be prohibited from sending generic price announcement letters to their customers.

Instead, any price announcement letter will have to be specific and relevant to the customer receiving it, including setting out the last unit price paid, the new unit price, and specific details of other charges that apply to the customer.

The order results from the Competition Commission’s (CC) investigation into the supply or acquisition of aggregates, cement and ready-mixed concrete in GB which required Lafarge Tarmac to sell one of their cement plants and Hanson to sell one of their ground granulated blast-furnace slag (ggbs) plants to enhance competition in the cement and ggbs markets.

The CC also said that it would implement two further remedy measures aimed at reducing transparency in the GB cement markets, comprising: (1) a prohibition on generic cement price announcements; and (2) restrictions on the disclosure and publication of market data.

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