§ Lord Graham of Edmonton
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they consider that Pilkington Insulation Limited enjoy a monopoly position in the insulation market, and if so whether they will discuss with Pilkington Insulation Limited their pricing policy, in the light of the energy saving campaign.
§ Lord Trefgarne
Under the Fair Trading Act 1973 it falls to the Director General of Fair Trading to keep commercial activity in the United Kingdom under review in order to make himself aware of monopolies and uncompetitive practices and, where he considers it appropriate, to refer these to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission. Under this Act a monopoly means a market share of 25 per cent. or more held by one company, or a group of companies showing similar trading behaviour so as to affect competition; but there is no presumption in the Act that a monopoly situation is in itself a cause for concern. The director general would only become concerned if a monopoly position appeared to be absused. It may be that Pilkington Insulation Limited is a monopolist in certain sectors of the insulation market. If the noble Lord has any evidence to suggest that the company may be a monopolist abusing its position he should bring that to the attention of the director general.