Press release

Car parts supplier must sell local depots to maintain competition

The CMA has found that the purchase of Andrew Page by Euro Car Parts could lead to higher prices or a lower quality of service in 9 areas.

Mechanic

Euro Car Parts must now sell a depot in each of these areas to a purchaser approved by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), so that customers don’t lose out.

Euro Car Parts bought most of the Andrew Page business in October 2016, after the company went into administration. Both companies own a network of depots across the UK from which they sell car parts to independent garages and workshops and to larger national or multi-regional customers, including repair centre chains, vehicle fleets and roadside assistance companies.

A group of independent CMA panel members identified 9 areas in England where the 2 companies were close competitors and where the merger could significantly reduce competition for local customers.

The group did not consider that larger national or multi-regional customers would be adversely affected by the merger.

Professor Alasdair Smith, Inquiry Chair, said:

Following an in-depth investigation, we have found that this merger has the potential to drive up prices or reduce levels of service for customers in 9 local areas. That’s why we are requiring a depot in each area to be sold to a buyer approved by the CMA.

Outside of these areas, we did not find that the merger will further reduce competition compared to what would have happened if Euro Car Parts had not purchased Andrew Page.

The 9 local areas are: Blackpool, Brighton, Gloucester, Liphook, Scunthorpe, Sunderland, Wakefield, Worthing and York. Swindon had also been identified during the provisional findings stage, but new evidence came to light which resulted in the group deciding that competition would not be affected in this area.

Notes for editors

  1. The CMA is the UK’s primary competition and consumer authority. It is an independent non-ministerial government department with responsibility for carrying out investigations into mergers, markets and the regulated industries and enforcing competition and consumer law.

  2. The final report can be found on the case page.

  3. On 10 March 2017, the CMA started its initial investigation and on 22 May 2017 the CMA referred it for a phase 2 investigation. Provisional findings were published on 14 September 2017.

  4. All the CMA’s functions in phase 2 merger inquiries are performed by independent inquiry groups, chosen from the CMA’s panel members, and supported by CMA staff. The appointed inquiry group are the decision-makers on phase 2 inquiries.

  5. The members of the inquiry group are: Professor Alasdair Smith (Inquiry Chair), Lesley Ainsworth and Rosalind Hedley-Miller.

  6. The CMA’s panel members come from a variety of backgrounds, including economics, law, accountancy and/or business; the membership of an inquiry group usually reflects a mix of expertise and experience.

  7. For more information on the CMA see our homepage or follow us on Twitter @CMAgovuk, Facebook, Flickr and LinkedIn. Sign up to our email alerts to receive updates on merger cases.

  8. Media enquiries should be directed to: press@cma.gsi.gov.uk, 020 3738 6337.

Published 31 October 2017