News story

CMA to look in detail at MFL undertaking offer

The CMA has decided to consider in detail whether to accept an undertaking offered by Motor Fuel Limited (MFL) instead of carrying out an in-depth phase 2 merger investigation.

Petrol pump in car

In December, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that MFL’s completed acquisition of 228 petrol stations and other assets from Murco Petroleum Limited (Murco), might be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition in the retail supply of road fuels in the Hythe area in Kent.

It added that MFL may avoid the acquisition being referred for an in-depth phase 2 merger investigation if it could offer an acceptable solution to address competition concerns in the Hythe area.

As a result, MFL has proposed an undertaking to the CMA to divest the Murco petrol station site in Hythe. The CMA has decided that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the undertaking offered by MFL, or a modified version of it, might be accepted by the CMA.

The CMA now has until 5 March 2015 to consider whether to accept the undertaking, or a modified version of it, although the CMA may decide to extend this deadline to 5 May 2015 if it considers there are special reasons for doing so.

As part of this consideration process, the CMA will undertake a public consultation on whether the proposed undertaking is sufficient to address the competition concerns. If the undertaking is not accepted, the acquisition will be referred for a phase 2 merger investigation.

All information relating to the investigation is available on the case page.

Published 8 January 2015