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Booker in £3.7bn takeover by Tesco

Competition watchdog gives retail giant green light to buy the wholesaler

News broke on Tuesday morning that Tesco have been given the provisional go-ahead by the competition watchdog for their £3.7bn takeover of Booker.

An investigation into the takeover by the Competition and Markets Authority found that Britain’s biggest supermarket chain and the popular wholesaler and owner of convenience chains including Londis and Budgens, are not in direct competition with one another in most regards.

The CMA had previously announced that the deal would be referred for investigation, over concerns that it could result in industry-wide price hikes for customers.

“Millions of people use their local supermarket or convenience store to buy their groceries or essentials. Our investigation has found that existing competition is sufficiently strong in both the wholesale and retail grocery sectors to ensure that the merger between Tesco and Booker will not lead to higher prices or a reduced service for supermarket and convenience shoppers,” said Simon Polito, chair of the inquiry group.

A final decision about the takeover will be made come December but with all signs pointing towards the purchase, we felt it was prudent to establish what this will mean for NCASS members going forward, in light of our partnership with the wholesaler whereby members earn cashback via Booker purchases. Having liaised with Booker on the issue, we have been assured that it will be ‘business as usual and Booker will continue to support [NCASS] members.’

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