In a statement released by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Euro Car Parts must now ‘sell a depot in each of these areas to a purchaser approved by CMA, so that customers don’t lose out’.
ECP bought most of the Andrew Page business in October 2016, after the latter went into administration.
A group of independent CMA panel members identified nine areas in England where the both 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 9 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 affected 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.