Press release

Tesco/Booker request fast track referral

Tesco and Booker have requested that the CMA make a ‘fast track’ referral to phase 2 in its investigation into the merger.

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The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) opened its phase 1 investigation into the merger in May which was due to be completed by 25 July. It is possible to accelerate the referral of merger cases to phase 2 when requested by the merging companies and if the CMA has sufficient evidence that the test for reference is met (see notes for editors).

If the CMA proceeds with a fast track procedure it would expect to issue a phase 1 decision within the next 10 working days. The statutory timetable for the in-depth phase 2 investigation would be 24 weeks.

The fast track process has been used in a number of CMA merger investigations previously including BT/EE and Ladbrokes/Coral.

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

Notes for editors

  1. The CMA is the UK’s primary competition and consumer authority. It is an independent non-ministerial government department with responsibility for carrying out investigations into mergers, markets and the regulated industries and enforcing competition and consumer law. For CMA updates, follow us on Twitter @CMAgovuk, Facebook, Flickr and LinkedIn.

  2. Under the Enterprise Act 2002 (the Act) the CMA has a duty to make a reference to phase 2 if the CMA believes that it is or may be the case that a relevant merger situation has been created, or arrangements are in progress or in contemplation which, if carried into effect, will result in the creation of a relevant merger situation; and the creation of that situation has resulted, or may be expected to result, in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services.

  3. Under the Act a relevant merger situation is created if 2 or more enterprises have ceased to be distinct enterprises; and the value of the turnover in the United Kingdom of the enterprise being taken over exceeds £70 million (‘the turnover test’) or as a result of the transaction, in relation to the supply of goods or services of any description, a 25% share of supply in the United Kingdom (or a substantial part thereof) is created or enhanced (‘the share of supply test’).

  4. All the CMA’s functions in phase 2 merger inquiries are performed by inquiry groups chosen from the CMA’s independent panel members. The appointed inquiry group is the decision-maker on phase 2 inquiries.

  5. Media enquiries to the CMA should be directed to or 020 3738 6798.

Published 29 June 2017