The UK’s Office of Fair Trading has said it will refer Tesco’s acquisition of a Co-op store in Slough to the Competition Commission unless Tesco gives suitable undertakings to address competition concerns.
“The OFT believes that there is a significant prospect that this transaction would substantially lessen competition in one-stop grocery shopping in the vicinity of the former Co-op store in Slough,” the OFT said in a statement.
“Tesco has indicated that it would be prepared to sell the acquired Co-op store to address possible concerns,” the statement said.
Penny Boys, executive director of the OFT, said local consumer complaints had prompted the OFT’s investigation.
“Our investigation confirms that Tesco’s acquisition of the Slough Co-op store reduces the already limited number of competing one-stop-shops in this area. As a result, it raises local concerns similar to those covered in detail in the Competition Commission’s investigation into the bids for Safeway. However, Tesco’s proposed undertaking to sell ths store would address these concerns in a clear-cut manner,” Boys said.