LONDON Oct 8 Britain's monopoly regulator said
it wants to boost competition in the cement industry by forcing
Lafarge Tarmac , one of the major players, to
sell a cement plant to a new entrant.
"The best way to disturb the balance of a market where
producers have focused on retaining their respective market
shares rather than competing is to create the opportunity for a
major new entrant," said Competition Commission (CC) Deputy
Chairman Martin Cave.
The CC also said on Tuesday that it planned to limit the
flow of information between existing producers and would also
order the sale of certain facilities used in the production of a
Lafarge Tarmac said it was disappointed with the remedies
put forward by the CC.
"The Commission's assumptions and reasoning have serious
flaws and the biggest loser in this process will be the
customer," a spokeswoman said.
"There is strong evidence to demonstrate there is effective
competition in the sector - with new players having recently
entered the marketplace. The CC should take these factors on
board for its final report."
The regulator's proposals are part of an investigation into
Britain's cement industry that found in May that a lack of
competition was costing customers hundreds of millions of
The body said then it could force the dominant players,
which include Cemex, HeidelbergCement's
Hanson and Hope Construction Materials as well as Lafarge
Tarmac, to sell off plants.
Before publishing its final decisions, the CC will wait for
responses to its proposals.