Tesco’s Booker takeover gets green light

London, UK: The Competition and Markets Authority has provisionally concluded that Tesco’s purchase of Booker does not raise competition concerns.

A group of independent Competition and Markets Authority panel members has investigated how bringing together the UK’s largest grocery retailer and the UK’s largest grocery wholesaler would affect competition. It examined evidence from Tesco and Booker, as well as evidence from more than 65 wholesalers, suppliers and retail chains and a survey of hundreds of retailers.

The authority found that Tesco as a retailer and Booker as a wholesaler – supplying to caterers, independent and symbol group retailers including Premier, Londis and Budgens – do not compete head-to-head in most of their activities. In particular, Tesco does not supply the catering sector to which Booker makes over 30% of its sales.

Simon Polito, chair of the 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.”

This is a provisional decision and the authority is inviting further comment and evidence before a final view is made.

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