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Tue October 19 2021

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Company bans for price fixing McCanns

19 Mar Two former directors of Northern Ireland-based FP McCann have been banned from running businesses because of their role in an illegal construction cartel.

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The ban follows an investigation by the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) into the market for pre-cast concrete drainage products.

In October 2019 FP McCann, Stanton Bonna and CPM were fined more than £36m between them for price fixing.

Stanton Bonna Concrete Ltd and CPM Group confessed and got lesser fines of £7.5m and CPM £4m. FP McCann, headquartered in Northern Ireland, did not and was consequently fined £25m.

FP McCann appealed but in December 2020 the CMA’s determination was upheld by the Competition Appeal Tribunal.

The CMA has now secured the disqualification of Eoin McCann, 64, and Francis McCann, 51, both of whom attended regular cartel meetings on behalf of the company.

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Eoin McCann is disqualified for 12 years and Francis McCann for 11 years, the longest period for director disqualification secured by the CMA to date. The disqualifications start on 31st March, although both men have already resigned as directors of McCann group companies, as of 31st December 2020.

FP McCann describes itself as the UK’s largest manufacturer and supplier of precast concrete products, with 12 manufacturing plants around the UK.  In Northern Ireland, it also offers quarrying, ready mix, surfacing, dry silo mortar, construction and FP McCann Homes.

CMA enforcement director Michael Grenfell said: “The length of these disqualification periods reflects the seriousness of this case. The CMA will continue to take strong action, where necessary, to protect the public from illegal anticompetitive practices. The message to directors is clear – you are personally responsible for ensuring that your company complies with competition law, and if it doesn’t you risk disqualification.”

These disqualifications follow the disqualification of Philip Stacey and Robert Smillie, who were previously directors of CPM, in April 2019. 

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