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OFT to investigate aggregates industry

The Office of Fair Trading is set to investigate the aggregates industry to assess whether tax payers are getting a fair deal from suppliers of sand, gravel and broken rocks to road and house builders.

The OFT said in a statement today that it would speak directly with key parties as part of its ‘market study’ in order to identify market failures in the £4.8 billion pounds a year sector.

It added that the sector had high barriers to entry, was increasingly concentrated at a local level and was subject to a government involvement due to a national system of output controls.

OFT infrastructure director Heather Clayton said: “Because the cost of aggregates is reflected in the price consumers, and tax payers, pay for essential infrastructure, from housing through to roads and major capital building projects, it is important that the market is as competitive as possible”