Canadian company Ritchie Bros has decided not to pursue a £775m deal to acquire Dromore, Co Tyrone, based Euro Auctions from the Keys family after the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) raised significant concerns about the transaction.

In particular, a Phase I investigation by the CMA found that the new proposed entity would face no other significant competitors post-merger in the UK market.

After Euro Auctions and Ritchie Bros, the next largest competitor in the supply of auction services for used heavy construction machinery would have only 5-10% market share, states a CMA report.

It also warned that less competition could result in higher prices for customers and a lower-quality service, and confirmed its intention to move on to an in-depth Phase II investigation.

Responding to that, a joint statement from both parties said that Ritchie Bros “believe there is no realistic prospect for approval by the CMA and will not proceed with the Phase II investigation”.

With the merger now abandoned, the CMA has confirmed that it has cancelled its investigation.

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