On 7 September the OFT launched a study into the market for construction aggregates to assess how increasing market concentration at local level, high barriers to entry and government influence over output decisions affects competition in the sector.

The study comes as a result of representations made to the OFT during mergers work concerning competition within the aggregates sector. Due to the importance of the aggregate industry within the UK economy, and its place as part of a larger construction industry, the OFT is keen to ensure that there is a competitive market which delivers value for money to the end consumer.

The initial phase of the study is expected to take four months, with overall completion of the study anticipated in July 2011.