The European Commission said today (Thursday) that it had extended its review into Tesco’s plans to purchase Carrefour stores in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the Reuters news agency reported.

The plan includes a store-swap deal between the firms, aimed at seeing them exit countries in which they have low market shares to boost positions of strength elsewhere.

The new deadline for the Commission’s review is December 23.

Tesco, Britain’s biggest retailer, wants to hand over six stores and two sites in Taiwan and pay EUR57.4m (US$69m), it announced in September.

In exchange, it will get Carrefour’s 11 stores in the Czech Republic and four outlets in Slovakia.