The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in the UK has found that the purchase of Andrew Page by Euro Car Parts could lead to higher prices or a lower quality of service in nine areas.
Euro Car Parts must now sell a depot in each of these areas to a purchaser approved by the 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 panel members identified nine areas in England where the two 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 nine 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 nine 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.