Competition threat to UK merger plans

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Merger plans involving the UK operations of Tarmac and France’s Lafarge were under threat yesterday after being criticised by competition chiefs.

In a market where there are only four UK producers of bulk cement, the Competition Commission said it was concerned that the tie-up would increase the “susceptibility of the market to co-ordination”. The commission is already holding a separate investigation into the UK’s £3.3 billion building materials industry.