The Competition Commission (CC) will make a decision on Booker’s acquisition of Makro by April 24 2013.
The £140m deal was referred to the CC by the Office of Fair Trading in November, and the Competition Commission will now decide whether the acquisition may result in a “substantial lessening of competition (SLC)” in the UK wholesale market.
In its Issues Statement, the CC said: “Our initial view is that there are significant overlaps in the parties’ supply in at least parts of this differentiated market and that there are aspects of competition that need to be considered at both the local and national levels.
“For example, on the basis of the information reviewed so far, we note that the parties’ activities overlap in 29 of the 30 local areas where Makro has a store.”
If it concludes that the merger may be expected to result in an SLC in one or more relevant markets, the CC will consider whether remedies might be appropriate, before issuing a further statement.
Any interested parties have until January 7 to respond to the investigation.