CMA LATEST: CERTAIN ANDREW PAGE BRANCHES ‘DAMAGE COMPETITION’

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has provisionally found that the purchase by Euro Car Parts of much of the Andrew Page business could ‘damage competition in 10 local areas’.

Euro Car Parts bought most of Andrew Page in October 2016, after the latter went into administration. Following a complaint, a group of independent panel members at the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has investigated the merger. The group identified 10 local areas in England where the two companies were close competitors and where the merger could result in reduced competition for local customers, leading to higher prices or a lower quality of service.

The 10 areas mentioned in the draft are:

  • (a) Blackpool;
  • (b) Brighton;
  • (c) Gloucester; 
  • (d)  Liphook;
  • (e)  Scunthorpe;
  • (f)  Sunderland;
  • (g)  Swindon;
  • (h)  Wakefield;
  • (i)  Worthing; and
  • (j)  York.

The group did not consider that national or multi-regional customers would be adversely affected by the merger.

Professor Alasdair Smith, Inquiry Chair, said: “Andrew Page was in administration and would have closed down if a purchaser had not been found. The only two other purchasers would have bought a much smaller number of depots. We think that in most markets the merger will not further reduce competition compared to the alternative. However, in 10 local areas we are concerned that a reduction in competition could lead to higher prices and a lower quality of service.

In addition to the summary of provisional findings and the provisional findings report, a notice of possible remedies has been issued today, which outlines the measures the CMA could take if it still believes the merger would reduce competition when it makes its final decision. This identifies that competition could be maintained if Euro Car Parts sells depots in the 10 affected areas.

Anyone wishing to respond to the notice of possible remedies should do so in writing by no later than 28 September 2017. Anyone wishing to respond to the provisional findings should do so in writing, by no later than 5 October 2017.

More on this fast-moving story as soon as we get it – Ed

 

 

This post was written by:

- who has written 213 posts on CAT Magazine.

Editor of CAT Magazine and an experienced motoring journalist

20 Responses to “CMA LATEST: CERTAIN ANDREW PAGE BRANCHES ‘DAMAGE COMPETITION’”

  1. Paul says:

    Where was The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) when Andrew Page and ECP came to Worcester and trashed Unipart Automotive and Express Factors.

  2. Somebody says:

    I have worked for AP for quite a while now.
    I have read comments on here in the past and have held back myself. I now feel the time is right to express my feelings.
    I hate to admit it but this is not a good time to be a AP employee.
    Staff are leaving their jobs more and more week by week.
    There is hardly any staff left at the Harrogate branch.
    The sad thing is these are good people with lots of experience.
    We hardly have any BDM’s left, they know their time is almost up.
    The directors who have come from ECP, HT & KK don’t really care about the AP staff.
    Our parts prices are dearer on purpose so ECP can undercut us.
    Very sad times, I am afraid this once mighty ship will sink just like the Titanic did. It is only a matter of time.

    • INDEPENDENT THOUGHT says:

      I can honestly say that the price is not inflated, I’ve seen proof of AP selling at less than cost still which is one of the reasons they got into trouble in the first place, as previously stated lay the blame at the feet of the gutless spineless talentless AP original directors and Phoenix and Endless, they did nothing but suck the company dry and bleed it for all it was worth, they used to swan into the branch , unannounced and without introducing who they were they would sit in the managers office and expect their ego’s massaged and the manager would run back and forth with cups of coffee, it was sickening to see.

      In the years before Andrew left, if a director or even Andrew himself visited a branch then they would first visit each member of staff in the warehouse, have a decent conversation with them, they knew about each member, including name, and recent personal events i.e married, new baby, e.t.c, they would also enquire if they wanted to discuss anything with them whilst they were there, they would then work their way round and be in the branch at least an hour before they even got to the telesales office, little touches like that meant a lot, you felt listened to and valued, then Phoenix and Endless took over and everything changed, and the old school AP directors didn’t have a backbone to stand up to the money men and tell them that their ideas were useless and wouldn’t work.

      I like most of the rockface staff can hold my head high knowing I worked hard and did all I could, shame those fatcats that are supposed to be industry experts can’t do the same

  3. independent says:

    if people are saying this shouldnt happen then AP will close down and hundreds will lose there jobs is that what people prefer a bit like unipart did. at least if ECP/AP merge some people will keep their jobs and carry on if not then AP will disappear and ECP will continue to dominate

  4. Confused says:

    Surely every town that’s has an ECP & Andrew Page Branch will monopolise that area as in effect they are the same company! Therefore will have the majority of business available within the catchment area leaving a few scraps for other factors to fight for. Hardly fair!

  5. SIMON says:

    ​Our Local Euro car Parts Openly Admit they have been told NOT to compete with Andrew Page
    and Prices have Gone up At Both
    we were spending £15,000 a month with Euro now spend £500 !!
    Fortunately we have found other factors such as MVc and GSF are now more competitive , but only because of AP and Euros price hike

  6. angry1 says:

    I agree with the early comments endless and phoenix pushed and shoved ap over the cliff with no brainer ideas the ap directors just went along with the ride and put the blame on them when it all went to the wall …why didn’t you try to stop it or had the b#@$$#!to walk away with your head held high ?

    • INDEPENDENT THOUGHT says:

      We often voiced our concerns to our manager at the time over lack of stock, no payrise in 5 years, stoneage computer systems etc and all we were told was “If it all goes wrong at least you will be able to say you did as you were told and it wasn’t your fault” – this was the attitude that led to the companies downfall, I stand by my previous statements and in mu opinion those muppets at Endless and Phoenix have about as much intelligence and business acumen as a pile of dog dirt,
      I would love to be given the opportunity to put questions to the board as it was 5 years ago and get them to justify their obscene salaries and expense accounts, in fact in a just and fair country surely when people in positions of power and authority get it so catastrophically wrong as they did, they should be publically held accountable for it and made to answer to the employees why they have done what they have done

  7. INDEPENDENT THOUGHT says:

    I have worked for both companies so I feel I can confidently comment, I understand the anger and finger pointing directed at LKQ and ECP, but lets not lose sight of the fact that the real blame for the situation lies at the feet of Phoenix Equity and Endless equity, both these bunch of Bankers (so tempted to type something similar!) systematically screwed Andrew Page up, they made bad decision after bad decision, they repeatedly ignored the declining moral of the staff and lined their own pockets, they repeatedly ignored the opinions of the staff, they were hell bent on grinding that company into the dust and its my opinion that they planned to strip it to pieces all along, I would highly advise anyone in any trade or sector that if the company your working for decides to get into bed with any of the talentless daddies money spending halfwit snakes from either Phoenix or Endless then find another job, because they will screw your company up!!!!!!!!!!

    at the same time I am not stating that LKQ or ECP are saints!!! their intentions remain to be seen and only time will tell, but I reiterate direct your anger at the board of sesame street…. sorry, my mistakes sesame street are actually talented muppets! I meant Endless and Phoenix

    • Jason says:

      Spot on…

      Had expected not stepped in.. they would be jobless anyway…

      And CMA is suggesting that 10 are sold to ensure those areas remain competitive…. Therefore suggest all the other local markets have enough competitors to ensure that either ecp or pages have dominate market position s

    • BDM says:

      Yes I agree with what is said here, I currently have worked for Andrew page for many years, well before Andrew himself sold out and it was a vibrant company with high moral and slowly but surely the heart has been ripped out of this once great company. There is still a great deal of talent within the company but as to what the future holds only time will tell…….

      • INDEPENDENT THOUGHT says:

        I worked there for 13 years in total, I also had members of my family who once worked there for many years also, and it was a great company, but I feel the directors that stayed after Andrew sold his share also showed what lack of any real directorship skill they actually possessed, I think on one of my staff opinion forms I actually stated that the board was full of more hot air than one of Branson’s ballons and they couldn’t direct their way out of a car park!, they proved that they were just a bunch of yes men with no true knowledge or conviction, I just hope that karma really does exist and they end up in the Job centre, harsh but deserved!

  8. BDM says:

    This identifies that competition could be maintained if Euro Car Parts sells depots in the 10 affected areas.

    Does that not suggest that the affected branches will be sold?
    Could be a result for the staff in those branches……

  9. MOHAMMED says:

    TOTALLY WRONG THIS SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED NOT LETTING ALL INDEPENDENTS MAKE A HONEST LIVING PUTTING ALL THE POWER IN ONE COMPANIES HANDS IS ABSURD.ONCE THEY ARE ALLOWED THEY CAN DO ANYTHING THEY LIKE RAISE PRICES OR LOWER THEIR SERVICE NO-ONE WILL CARE AS THEY WILL HAVE THE MONOPOLY

  10. JohnHewett says:

    The merger , takeover should be stopped , both company’s are giants and poor at there job .they get customers in by winning them over ,then creep up there prices so you don’t realise, I have banned them both from my premises

  11. The aftermarket says:

    What about the other branches next to each other, Nottingham, Peterborough, Mansfield to name a few…. ECP have already stripped AP of all national accounts and are now systematically taking large independent garage accounts too…. absolute disgrace to the motor trade, I know what they should do, sack off all BDM’ to make space for the staff they need to “merge” when they close down loads of AP branches

  12. G BROWN says:

    what this space ….. bet the closed branches open as Diagraph !! SO LKQ still can kill the market place

    This should not be allowed !!

    • Parts person says:

      Easy to say when it’s not your job on the line I suppose.
      We didn’t have a choice in what happened in the buyout in the same way we have no choice now. However we the employees of these 10 branches pay the price.

      • Disco says:

        Least you could end up working for the PA or Mpd?
        Not a bad outcome
        fingers crossed for the branches having to be sold.

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