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UK Raises Concerns Over Educational Supplies Merger

 |  June 21, 2020

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has found that Yorkshire Purchasing Organisations (YPO) anticipated acquisition of Findel raises competition concerns in the supply of resources to educational institutions in the UK.

YPO and Findel Education Limited (Findel) supply a wide range of educational resources such as stationery, furniture and art and science materials to different types of educational institutions across the UK. They are the second and third largest generalist educational distributors, respectively.

After its initial Phase 1 investigation of YPO’s anticipated acquisition of Findel, the CMA found that both YPO and Findel compete closely with each other. If the planned merger goes ahead, YPO would face effective competition from 2 other generalist distributors – RM Plc (which operates across the UK) and ESPO (a large regional player) – and, to a lesser extent, KCS (a smaller regional player). The competition from smaller local generalist distributors, alternative specialist suppliers, high street retailers, and online-only distributors, such as Amazon, would only be very limited.

The CMA therefore concluded that the merger may reduce competition both by eliminating Findel’s significant competitive constraint on YPO and potentially leading to market conditions in which some generalist distributors focus only on some regions of the UK.

Full Content: Gov UK

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