OFT inquiry into gravel suppliers

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The Independent Online

The Office of Fair Trading will investigate the aggregates industry to assess whether the taxpayer is getting a fair deal from suppliers of sand, gravel and broken rocks to road and house-builders.

The OFT said the £4.8bn-a-year aggregates sector had high barriers to entry, was increasingly concentrated at a local level and was subject to government involvement due to national output controls.

"Because the cost of aggregates is reflected in the price consumers, and taxpayers, pay for essential infrastructure, from housing through to roads and major capital building projects, it is important that the market is as competitive as possible," said OFT director Heather Clayton.