Competition & Markets Authority
Schools could lose out in educational supplies merger
The CMA has provisionally found that YPO’s anticipated purchase of close competitor Findel could leave schools worse off.
Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation (YPO) and Findel Education Limited (Findel) are 2 of the leading suppliers of educational resources in the UK supplying stationery, furniture, and art and science materials to educational institutions, such as schools and nurseries. YPO announced its planned £50 million purchase of Findel last year.
During its in-depth Phase 2 investigation, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has looked at the impact of the merger on schools and nurseries. It has provisionally found that both companies compete closely, and any merger would reduce competition resulting in increased prices or reductions in service levels, quality and the range of products offered by the merged company.
The CMA looked at a number of suppliers within the educational supplies sector to understand the main sources of competition to YPO and Findel. If the merger were to take place, the primary competitor to the merged entity would be RM Plc, a generalist UK-wide supplier, with more limited competition from a small number of regional generalist suppliers. The CMA provisionally found that competition from smaller, specialist and online-only suppliers is more limited. As a result, the merger would leave educational institutions worse off with few alternative close competitors to the merged company.
In reaching its provisional decision, the CMA analysed a wide range of evidence looking at how closely these firms compete, including internal documents of the companies and their competitors. It also engaged with customers, competitors, and other stakeholders to inform its findings.
Stuart McIntosh, Inquiry Group Chair, recently said:
“These firms are 2 of the leading suppliers of educational resources in the UK, so it’s important that the CMA protects schools and nurseries who rely on their products. The loss of competition as a result of this merger would likely lead to either higher prices or reduced service, and less choice for schools, which are already under considerable financial pressure.”
All interested parties now have until 30 October 2020 to submit views on possible remedies to address the CMA’s concerns, which may include blocking the deal. All interested parties also have until 6 November 2020 to submit views on the CMA’s provisional findings.
For more information, visit the Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation/Findel Education merger inquiry web page.
For media enquiries, contact the CMA press office on 020 3738 6460 or email@example.com.
Latest News from
Competition & Markets Authority
COVID-19 refunds: CMA warns wedding firms over unfair practices26/11/2020 12:48:00
The CMA has issued new warnings to firms over concerns that couples are still not receiving fair refunds for weddings that could not go ahead during the pandemic.
CMA takes swift action in bipolar drug investigation25/11/2020 12:20:00
The CMA is consulting on proposed commitments from Essential Pharma to keep a key bipolar drug on the market, and ensure it is affordable to the NHS.
CMA fines ComparetheMarket £17.9m for competition law breach19/11/2020 16:43:00
The CMA has fined ComparetheMarket £17.9 million after it found that clauses used in the company’s contracts with home insurers breached competition law.
Consultation launched on CMA Merger Assessment Guidelines17/11/2020 12:20:00
The CMA is consulting on updated guidelines about its approach to analysing mergers.
CMA considers next steps in JD Sports/Footasylum merger16/11/2020 09:25:00
The CMA is considering its next steps following last Friday’s Competition Appeal Tribunal judgment in the JD Sports/Footasylum case.
CMA welcomes Tribunal judgment in Facebook and Giphy case13/11/2020 16:25:00
The CMA welcomes today’s Competition Appeal Tribunal judgment which dismissed all of Facebook’s grounds of appeal.
Trading systems firms address CMA competition concerns11/11/2020 12:20:00
The CMA has accepted a proposal from ION to sell Broadway’s fixed income business in order to resolve competition concerns about the completed merger.
CMA launches consultation on updated merger guidance06/11/2020 15:05:00
The CMA has today launched a consultation on updates to 2 of its merger guidance documents.