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CMA says Morrisons’ takeover of McColl’s will “not harm the vast majority of shoppers”

Following an investigation of Morrisons acquisition of McColl’s stores, the Competition and Markets Authority has said the deal only raises concerns in a small number of… View Article

FOOD & DRINK

CMA says Morrisons’ takeover of McColl’s will “not harm the vast majority of shoppers”

Following an investigation of Morrisons acquisition of McColl’s stores, the Competition and Markets Authority has said the deal only raises concerns in a small number of local areas where the two brands compete.

The organisation also said the purchase will not harm the vast majority of shoppers or other businesses.

The CMA launched the investigation in July after the companies submitted the £190 million deal for review.

Following the first phase of the investigation, the CMA said it found the merger raises competition concerns in 35 areas where McColl’s or MFG convenience stores will face reduced competition if the deal is allowed to go ahead as planned. It said weaker competition could lead to higher prices or a lower quality service for the customers who rely on their local shops for groceries.

During the investigation, the retailers accepted that the merger would raise concerns in some areas and asked the CMA to move straight to a discussion of remedies to address them.

Morrisons now has five working days to offer proposals to address the concerns identified.

Sorcha O’Carroll, CMA senior director of mergers, said: “As the cost-of-living soars, it’s particularly important that shops are facing proper competition so that customers get the best prices possible when picking up essentials or doing the weekly shop.

“While the vast majority of shoppers and other businesses won’t lose out, we’re concerned that the deal could lead to higher prices for people in some areas. If Morrisons and McColl’s can address these concerns, then we won’t need to move on to an in-depth investigation.

“In the meantime, we’re working closely with Morrisons to ensure that it can provide the support that McColl’s needs to continue to operate during our investigation.”

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