UK Competition Authority Provisionally Clears Tesco-Booker Merger
The UK’s Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has announced that it has provisionally cleared wholesaler Booker’s proposed merger with Tesco.
A statement on Booker’s website this morning (14 November) read, ‘We are pleased that the CMA has provisionally concluded that this transaction does not lessen competition, and will continue to work with the CMA ahead of its publication of a final decision, expected in December.’
Booker added that it was ‘grateful for the support of customers, suppliers and colleagues during this process.’
The deal was first announced in January of this year, with Tesco CEO Dave Lewis saying that the merger would lead to the creation of "the UK's leading food business".
The CMA’s investigation sought to analyse whether the deal would ‘reduce competition and choice for shoppers and other customers’.
Announcing sales of £2.6 billion for the 24 weeks to 8 September last month, Booker said that it was ’excited by the opportunities the merger will create for consumers, our customers, suppliers, colleagues and shareholders'.
In the CMA’s report, Simon Polito, Chair of the inquiry group said, “Millions of people use their local supermarket or convenience store to buy their groceries or essentials. Strong competition in the market ensures that shoppers can choose the best deal for them.
“Our investigation has found that existing competition is sufficiently strong in both the wholesale and retail grocery sectors to ensure that the merger between Tesco and Booker will not lead to higher prices or a reduced service for supermarket and convenience shoppers.”
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.