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UK watchdog instructs EMR to sell five scrap yards

European Metal Recycling is selling five of the facilities recently acquired from Metal Waste Recycling. This was demanded by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, which is concerned prices might ‘worsen’ for suppliers and customers.

The EMR and MWR’s merger would ‘harm’ the choices available to suppliers that provide scrap metal that needs to be shredded in England. This is the conclusion of the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). Car manufacturers selling large volumes of scrap metal through tendered contracts would also be at a serious disadvantage.

EMR now has to sell three scrap metal recycling yards in the West Midlands, one in the North East and one in the South East. EMR is currently the largest recycler of scrap metal in the UK while MWR is the fourth largest.

‘A material risk’

‘The evidence shows that EMR’s purchase of MWR is likely to harm competition in a number of areas and there is a material risk that prices for some suppliers and customers could worsen,’ comments CMA inquiry chair Lesley Ainsworth. ‘To ensure competition is maintained, we are requiring EMR to sell off some of the sites it bought from MWR,’ he confirms.

A spokesperson from EMR has responded: ‘The CMA has made its decision and we will be looking to comply with their remedial actions in the required time. In the meantime, both EMR and MWR continue to trade and support their customers normally as independent entities.’

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