There is no item in your cart
Two of the UK’s largest suppliers of rolled lead face fines of more than £11m after admitting to taking part in anti-competitive arrangements.
Associated Lead Mills Ltd and H.J Enthoven Ltd (trading as
BLM British Lead) both face fines after a Competition and Markets Authority
A third company, Calder Industrial Materials Ltd, is also
under investigation in relation to one of the arrangements and has not made any
In its original provisional
findings, the CMA alleged that Associated Lead Mills, BLM British Lead and
Calder Industrial Materials – which together account for about 90% of UK rolled
lead supplies – entered into a cartel to share the market amongst themselves
through, for example, the allocation of customers.
The CMA has now revised its provisional findings and issued
the three firms with a ‘supplementary statement of objections’, which outlines
its updated allegations. The CMA’s revised provisional view is that there was
not a single overall cartel arrangement, but rather four individual
arrangements that broke competition law.
The CMA’s revised provisional findings indicate that
Associated Lead Mills and BLM British Lead entered into arrangements including:
- sharing the market, including by arranging not to target certain customers
- colluding on prices
- exchanging commercially sensitive information on prices
- arranging not to supply a new business that risked disrupting the firms’ existing customer relationships and was also a potential competitor in the market.
In the light of the CMA’s updated provisional findings, both
Associated Lead Mills and BLM British Lead have now admitted to their parts in
these arrangements, which took place between October 2015 and March 2017. The two
firms have agreed to pay maximum fines totalling more than £11m, although the
exact amount will be determined at the end of the CMA’s investigation, if there
is a formal final decision that the law has been broken.
The CMA has provisionally found that Calder Industrial Materials
became involved, at a later stage, in the arrangement with Associated Lead
Mills and BLM British Lead not to supply a new business that risked disrupting
the firms’ customer relationships and was a potential competitor in the market.
Calder Industrial Materials has made no admission of liability and the CMA’s
investigation is continuing. No assumption should be made that Calder
Industrial Materials has broken the law.