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CMA publishes issues statement on foam merger; extends findings date

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published an ‘Issues Statement’ in relation to the ongoing investigation into the merger of foam producers Carpenter and Recticel.

The statement sets out the scope of the inquiry, outlining initial theories on what might be adversely affecting competition. It does not set out findings or conclusions at this stage. The statement can be viewed here.

The CMA added that any party wishing to respond to the issues statement should do so by no later than 5pm on Friday 9 September 2022.

This follows its recent appointment of an inquiry group, which consist of Kip Meek, Ulrike Hotopp, Paul Hughes and Karthik Subramanya.

The panel are part of a Phase 2 investigation after the CMA raised concerns that the loss of competition brought about by the merger of Carpenter and Recticel’s global engineered foams business could result in a worse deal for manufacturers, which could ultimately mean that consumers face higher prices and less choice.

“Should we conclude that the Merger may be expected to result in an substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the UK, we will consider whether, and if so what, remedies might be appropriate. The Parties have confirmed they intend to submit remedies,” the CMA said.

“In any consideration of possible remedies, we may in particular have regard to their effect on any relevant customer benefits that might be expected to arise as a result of the Merger and, if so, what these benefits are likely to be and which customers would benefit.”

The CMA has also extended the period where it will report its findings from 1 January 2023 to 22 January 2023.

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