// Morrisons welcomes CMA’s findings that only a small number of local areas could face competition concerns from its takeover of McColl’s
// The CMA said its first-phase findings into the acquisition saw potential competition concerns in 35 sites
Morrisons has welcomed the CMA’s investigation into finding that only a small number of local areas could face competition concerns from its takeover of McColl’s.
The CMA said its first-phase findings into the acquisition saw potential competition concerns in 35 sites, which it called “a small number of local areas”.
It added that otherwise the proposed acquisition by Morrisons of McColl’s 1,100 convenience stores “would not harm the vast majority of shoppers or other businesses”.
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The 35 areas would raise competition concerns because of either a nearby Morrisons store or a site owned by Motor Fuel Group, the petrol forecourt business also owned by CD&R – the private equity firm that bought Morrisons last year.
The grocer now has five days to respond to the CMA’s finding and address its concerns.
Morrisons said it will now work closely with the CMA on its proposed remedies in these 35 local areas and “look forward to a swift conclusion of the process.”
CMA senior director of mergers, Sorcha O’Carroll 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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