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Lafarge Tarmac appeals Competition Commission decision

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World Cement,

Lafarge Tarmac has submitted an application to the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal over the Competition Commission’s decision, announced in January, which would force Lafarge Tarmac to sell one of its cement plants in order to boost competition in the UK cement industry.

In its application, Lafarge Tarmac cites the following grounds on which the company challenges the findings:

Procedural unfairness – Lafarge Tarmac reports it had no opportunity to respond to the Commission’s theory of harm because it was not shown the data on which the Commission’s conclusions are based. External advisers were not given all the evidence and were not given the opportunity to mount a proper defence. Lafarge Tarmac also claims that the press release issued in October 2013 ‘would have led the fair-minded and informed observer to conclude that the Commission no longer had an open mind’.

The putative ‘Coordination AEC’ – Lafarge Tarmac attests that the Commission failed to properly state its case in regards to its allegations of coordination.

The profitability analysis – Lafarge Tarmac claims that the profitability analysis is contrary to the Commissions’ Market Investigation Guidelines and that the results are too marginal to support a finding of excess industry profitability.

The cement divestment remedy – Lafarge Tarmac believes that the instruction to divest one of its four cement plants is disproportionate. The company accuses the Competition Commission of several failings, including overstating the projected benefits of such a sale. Lafarge Tarmac also considers the exclusion of Mittal Investments S.á.r.l. (and its subsidiary Hope Construction Materials) from the pool of potential buyers as irrational.

Relief sought

Lafarge Tarmac asks the Tribunal to quash certain paragraphs of the Final Report, including: the finding of a coordination giving rise to an adverse effect on competition; the divestment by Lafarge Tarmac of either the Cauldon or Tunstead plant; the divestment of ready-mix plants by Lafarge Tarmac.

Lafarge Tarmac is also asking the Tribunal or order such further or other relief as the Tribunal deems fit and that the Competition Commission pay Lafarge Tarmac the costs it has incurred in bringing this application.

Full details of the application can be found here.

Adapted from source by

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