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CMA wins legal challenge in Cérélia/Jus-Rol case

The Competition Appeal Tribunal has fully dismissed a legal challenge by Cérélia and upheld the CMA’s decision to block Cérélia’s acquisition of Jus-Rol.

The Tribunal dismissed all 4 grounds of Cérélia’s “attack” on the CMA’s decision.

Sarah Cardell, Chief Executive of the CMA, said:

We welcome today’s judgment, which fully dismisses all 4 grounds of Cérélia’s appeal, and confirms that the CMA’s decision to block this merger was fully supported by the evidence and procedurally fair.

Cérélia must now sell off Jus-Rol in its entirety to make sure shoppers don’t face higher prices and worse quality products.

In January this year, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) issued its Phase 2 decision on the Cérélia/Jus Rol merger. It found that the deal would substantially lessen competition, putting UK grocers at risk of higher prices and lower quality products – which could ultimately be passed on to shoppers.

The decision found that the deal brought together the 2 leading suppliers in the market by a considerable margin, and that they face limited competition, with all other suppliers being far smaller and many of them lacking the capabilities held by Cérélia and Jus-Rol.

Evidence from grocery retailers showed that they consider Cérélia and Jus-Rol’s products to be important alternatives to one another – with grocers telling the CMA that the ability to trade off Jus-Rol against Cérélia, and vice versa, when buying their products allows them to get a better deal for their customers.

Cérélia disagreed with the CMA’s decision and appealed to the Tribunal. Following a hearing in July, the judgment has been handed down today.

The Tribunal unanimously dismissed all 4 grounds of Cérélia’s appeal. It confirmed that the CMA had gathered and carefully weighed a great deal of information and evidence for its assessment, and had not made any error of fact or law. The Tribunal also considered that the scope of the remedy was well reasoned and proportionate. Finally, the Tribunal confirmed that the process followed by the CMA was rational and fair.

Cérélia has already given final undertakings to sell the Jus-Rol business but this process was suspended pending the outcome of Cérélia’s appeal. Following today’s judgment, the CMA now expects Cérélia to commence the sale process.

For more information, visit the Cérélia / Jus-Rol merger inquiry page.

For media enquiries, contact the CMA press office on 020 3738 6460 or

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