The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has launched an investigation into the UK's aggregates companies.
The UK aggregates market had revenues in 2008 of £4.8bn.
Aggregates is a sector with high barriers to entry, according to the OFT, increasing concentration at the local level and Government involvement in the form of a national system of control over outputs.
The study will look at all of these factors to determine how they influence competitive conditions and whether the market delivers good value for money to tax payers and end consumers as the cost of aggregates flows through to the construction of essential infrastructure.
Heather Clayton, senior director of infrastructure, said: “In the present climate, well-functioning markets are even more important to help spur economic growth.
“Aggregates is an important sector in its own right but it is also part of the larger construction industry which plays a key role in the country's economy. Because the cost of aggregates is reflected in the price consumers, and tax payers, pay for essential infrastructure, from housing through to roads and major capital building projects, it is important that the market is as competitive as possible.”
The OFT said it would “be speaking with key parties directly”.
Anyone wishing to make a submission should send their written views by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to: Aggregates Market Study, Office of Fair Trading, Level 2C Fleetbank House, 2-6 Salisbury Square, London EC4Y 8JX.
Submissions must be received by 15 October 2010.
The investigation is expected to be completed by July 2011.