Soft drinks merger cleared

The Competition Commission has provisionally cleared the acquisition of Britvic by AG Barr.

Both companies produce canned soft drinks, including AG Barr’s Irn Bru (pictured) and Britvic’s orange juice pure, both in 330ml cans.

In a summary of its provisional findings on the merger published this week the commission concluded the proposed acquisition is not expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition and would not cause wholesale prices to increase significantly.

Alasdair Smith commission deputy chairman and chairman of the Barr/Britvic Inquiry Group said, “Given the size of this market and the number of consumers who could be potentially affected, it was important to examine the likely effects carefully.

“Carrying out a full investigation gave us the chance to look in detail at consumer preferences. These told us that most consumers tend to see Barr and Britvic brands as distinct products rather than as close substitutes for each other.

“Looking at consumer preferences and other evidence, we were able to conclude that the proposed merger was unlikely to substantially lessen competition.”

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