LONDON May 30 Britain's competition regulator
has formally opened an investigation into Tesco's 3.7
billion pound ($4.8 billion) plan to buy wholesaler Booker
, seeking to establish whether it could reduce
competition and choice for customers.
Tesco, Britain's biggest retailer, announced the cash and
shares deal in January in a bid to increase its exposure to the
fast growing catering sector.
The Competition and Markets Authority said on Tuesday the
phase 1 investigation would run until July 25.
"During this period, the Competition and Markets Authority
(CMA) will assess whether the deal could reduce competition and
choice for shoppers and other customers, such as stores
currently supplied by Booker," it said.
After the first phase, the CMA could either clear the deal
or refer it for a full phase 2 investigation lasting up to 24
weeks unless the merging parties offer proposals addressing any
($1 = 0.7770 pounds)
(Reporting by Kate Holton, editing by James Davey)