UK watchdog to pave way for new cement maker


LONDON, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Britain's monopoly regulator saidit wanted to boost competition in the cement industry byrequiring Lafarge Tarmac , one of the majorplayers, to sell a cement plant to a new entrant in the market.

Competition Commission (CC) Deputy Chairman Martin Cavesaid: "The best way to disturb the balance of a market whereproducers have focused on retaining their respective marketshares rather than competing is to create the opportunity for amajor new entrant."

The CC also said on Tuesday that it planned to limit theflow of information between existing producers and would alsoorder the sale of certain facilities used in the production of acement substitute.

The regulator's latest proposals are part of its months-longinvestigation into Britain's cement industry which found in Maythat a lack of competition was costing customers hundreds ofmillions of pounds.

The body said then it could force the dominant players,which include Cemex, HeidelbergCement's Hanson and Hope Construction Materials as well as LafargeTarmac, to sell off plants.

Before publishing its final decisions, the CC will wait forresponses to its proposals.

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