// The UK Competition & Markets Authority is launching an enquiry into Morrisons’ planned takeover of McColl’s Retail Group
// The CMA said it “invites comments on the transaction from any interested party.”
The CMA, the UK’s competition watchdog has confirmed it is launching an enquiry into Morrisons’ takeover of McColl’s, which has a deadline of September 8 for its phase one decision.
Back in May, Morrisons snapped up McColl’s in a £190m rescue deal after the convenience chain collapsed into administration, fending off competition from rivals including forecourt giant EG Group to strike the deal.
The Bradford-based grocer said it would protect McColl’s 1,100 shops and 16,000 employees entirely.
McColl’s is already partnered with Morrisons; it operates around 200 Morrisons Daily stores, smaller format sites belonging to the grocer chain.
The Competition and Markets Authority filed an initial enforcement order into the deal in May, suggesting it would probe the deal and forcing Morrisons and McColl’s to continue to operate as separate operations until investigations are completed.
However, the CMA has now confirmed it will launch a formal phase one probe – the initial stage of its merger review process – and has invited comments on the move by interested parties.
It said the probe will consider “whether the creation of that situation may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services”.
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