Britain's competition watchdog this morning provisionally cleared Tesco's takeover of wholesaler Booker.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) concluded the deal does not raise competition concerns. It said the pair "do not compete head-to-head in most of their activities".
"In particular, Tesco does not supply the catering sector to which Booker makes over 30 per cent of its sales."
The CMA opened a phase one investigation into the deal in May and kicked off a "fast track" referral at the end of June following representations from both parties.
The watchdog stressed today's decision was provisional and urged other parties to come forward and provide further evidence.
Chair of the inquiry group Simon Polito said the CMA probe found "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".