Edeka‘s proposed takeover of food retailer Ratio will face further “in-depth” investigation from Germany’s competition authority, officials at the Bundeskartellamt confirmed today (11 February).

Edeka, Germany’s largest grocer, announced last autumn that it planned to buy 11 Ratio retail locations and eight cash-and-carry outlets in the Lower Saxony and Ruhr area.

“With this acquisition we further consolidate our sales target area,” said Edeka CEO Markus Mosa said at the time.

However, this consolidation is the Bundeskartellamt’s primary cause for concern, a spokesperson for the Federal Cartel Office told just-food.

“We are investigating whether a dominant market position in the market will emerge or be strengthened by the merger. The consolidated nature of German food retailing is really the background to our second phase investigation,” the spokesperson revealed.

Concerns raised by an initial probe of the deal mean that the competition investigation has entered a more “in-depth” second phase, the spokesperson confirmed.

Edeka declined to comment due to the “on-going” nature of the inquiry.