On 16 August 2011, the OFT published its market study into aggregates, cement and ready mix concrete. The OFT has concluded that it proposes to refer the sectors to the CC for a more detailed investigation (a reference under s131 of the Enterprise Act 2002).
The OFT has identified that the behaviour of major firms and certain characteristics of the market structure could prevent, restrict or distort competition. More specifically, the OFT concluded that the market has features such as: high barriers to entry; highly-concentrated markets that are increasing in concentration; vertical integration of major firms (i.e. across aggregates, ready-mix concrete and cement); and multi-firm market contacts and information exchanges.
The OFT has requested comments on its proposal to make a market investigation reference by 30 September 2011.