ILC ARTICLE

CMA invites further comment on Copart/Hills deal


The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has provisionally found that Copart’s acquisition of Hills Motors could reduce competition in the market for the supply of salvage services in the UK.

However, it dismissed concerns that the merger would substantially lessen competition in the supply of damaged and other used vehicles or the supply of recycled parts in the UK.

Copart and Hills Motors both supply vehicle salvage services, such as collecting damaged and other used vehicles on behalf of customers and remarketing them for sale, while Hills Motors is also active in vehicle dismantling.

Kirstin Baker, Chair of the independent panel of experts conducting the investigation, said, “Vehicle insurance is a significant cost for many individuals and businesses and there is increasing demand for insurers to minimise their environmental impact, while keeping prices low. There are very few salvage companies who have a track record of servicing large national contracts for insurance companies, so we are concerned this deal could reduce the options for customers and this could lead to higher prices or lower quality services.

“We invite views on both our provisional findings and the possible remedies we have identified to address our concerns.”

Speaking with Fleet News, Jane Pocock, Chief Executive of Copart UK and Ireland, said, “We are midway through ‘phase two’ and at long last we have just received the report from the CMA. The CMA have already dropped two of their theories of harm, with only one now remaining.

“We can focus, now we have information to their line of thinking, on compiling our response to their competition point. We remain very optimistic we can now challenge the remaining point.”

Comments must be received by 19 May with the final report expected on 20 July.

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