Home NEWS Science Tesco gets green light for £3.7bn Booker takeover

Tesco gets green light for £3.7bn Booker takeover

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Britain’s competition regulator has given Tesco provisional approval for its £3.7bn takeover of the wholesaler Booker, saying the deal “does not raise competition concerns”.

The proposed merger had attracted vocal opposition from the rest of the wholesale industry, who argued it would give Britain’s largest supermarket “uncontestable power” over the grocery supply chain.

But the Competition and Markets Authority, which has been investigating the takeover since May, said Tesco and Booker do not compete in most of their business areas.

The CMA examined 12,000 locations where a branch of Tesco competes with a Booker-supplied shop and concluded competition was sufficient to prevent prices from going up.

Booker’s increased clout would potentially allow it to negotiate better terms from its suppliers, which could be passed on as lower prices to the shops it supplies, the investigation found.

Simon Polito, chair of the CMA’s inquiry group, said: “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.”

Tesco said it looked “forward to creating the UK’s leading food business” and that the merger “will bring benefits for independent retailers, caterers, small businesses, suppliers, consumers, and colleagues”.

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