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Competition Commission provisionally clears AG Barr Britvic merger

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Competition Commission provisionally clears AG Barr Britvic merger

Competition Commission provisionally clears AG Barr Britvic merger
June 11
10:19 2013

In a summary of its provisional findings on the merger published today, the Competition Commission has concluded that the proposed acquisition by AG Barr of Britvic is not expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition and would not cause wholesale prices to increase significantly.

The CC’s assessment, and the views of most retailers and other customers of the merging companies, suggested that the two companies’ brands were not close competitors.

The CC also did not consider that the increased size of the merged company would mean new entrants and smaller companies would be disadvantaged significantly in obtaining listings at retailers.

Barr and Britvic are both active in the manufacture and supply of a range of carbonated and non-carbonated soft drink brands.

Alasdair Smith, CC deputy chairman and chairman of the Barr/Britvic Inquiry Group, said: “We have provisionally concluded that customers will not lose out from the merged Barr/Britvic. Given the size of this market and the number of consumers who could be potentially affected, it was important to examine the likely effects carefully.

“Carrying out a full investigation gave us the chance to look in detail at consumer preferences. These told us that most consumers tend to see Barr and Britvic brands as distinct products rather than as close substitutes for each other. Looking at consumer preferences and other evidence, we were able to conclude that the proposed merger was unlikely to substantially lessen competition.”

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