The competition watchdog has said Morrisons’ blockbuster private equity takeover could lead to higher fuel prices.
Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R)’s £7bn takeover of the supermarket could lead to higher fuel prices in 121 locations where both firms own forecourts, the regulator said.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it has concerns about the supply of petrol.
CD&R owns the Motor Fuel Group (MFG), the largest independent UK operator of petrol stations, with 921 petrol stations, under brands such as Esso, BP and Shell.
Morrisons operates some 339 petrol stations, most of them located at its supermarket stores.
Colin Raftery, senior director of mergers at the CMA, said: “Prices for petrol and diesel have recently hit record highs, which makes it even more important that we don’t allow a lack of competition at the pump to make the situation worse.
“We’re concerned that this deal could lead to higher prices for motorists in some parts of the country. But if CD&R and Morrisons are able to address these concerns, then we won’t need to move on to an in-depth investigation of the merger.”
CD&R has been given five working days to offer proposals to the CMA to address the competition concerns identified.