asked the Secretary of State for Trade when the report of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission on the supply of concrete roofing tiles in the United Kingdom is to be published; and if he will make a statement.
My right hon. Friend received the report on 10 September. It was published yesterday.The commission's findings are as follows:
The Government accept the commission's findings.
In the light of those conclusions, the commission made the following recommendations:
The commission also expressed the hope that such of its recommendations as might be adopted should be applied to Northern Ireland.
I accept this important report by the commission and its findings. Given the adverse effects of the scale monopolies specified in the reports, the order making powers provided in section 56 of the Fair Trading Act 1973 are available to remedy or prevent those effects.
Taking the commission's recommendations in turn, I shall certainly bear their report in mind in considering future mergers involving Marley or Redland and any other producer in the industry.
As for the specification and buying procedures of local authorities and other bodies, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment will be considering these recommendations, in consultation with my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
With regard to the commission's other recommendations, I shall be giving careful consideration to the appropriate action to be taken on the report. I am asking the Director General of Fair Trading to open discussions with the parties concerned in relation to the commission's findings and recommendations.