AG Barr and Britvic are convinced they can satisfy competition concerns over the deal

AG Barr and Britvic are convinced they can satisfy competition concerns over the deal

The UK's Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has said evidence from AG Barr and Britvic was not “convincing” enough to satisfy competition concerns over their merger. 

The authority yesterday (5 March) published its full 39-page ruling on the proposed tie-up, which it referred to the Competition Commission last month. Barr and Britvic have said they believe they can satisfy the concerns of regulators

The OFT said the evidence showed that Britvic's brands offer a “sufficiently strong competitive constraint” to both Barr's Irn Bru and Orangina brands and that the loss of this constraint could elimiante that competition. 

It added: “The OFT believes that it may be the case that the transaction will lead to an increased negotiating strength for the parties vis-à-vis customers, and hence higher prices given the resulting combination of brands.”

However, the authority said the merger would not affect water or fruit drinks as the companies do not compete “strongly” in this area. 

The Competition Commission is expected to rule on the merger by July.

To see just-drinks' full coverage of AG Barr and Britvic's proposed merger, click here.