Booker has made a formal request to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to “fast track” its investigation into the proposed merger with Tesco to the next stage of the process.

The wholesaler says it has enjoyed “constructive dialogue” with the competion regulator since the announcement of the merger plan on 27 January. The CMA announced phase 1 of its review on 30 May, a process that would normally take until 25 July to complete.

Booker’s statement reads: ”Following continued constructive dialogue and further to the commencement of the CMA’s Phase 1 review on 30 May 2017, we have now requested that the CMA uses the “fast track” process to allow it to move more quickly to examining the Merger through a detailed Phase 2 process.

“We expect the CMA to issue an early decision to refer to Phase 2 within the next two weeks. We are grateful to the CMA team for the work they have done to date and appreciate the support of customers, suppliers and colleagues during this process.”