Morrisons takeover raises competition concerns over fuel

Morrisons’ £7 billion takeover could lead to higher fuel prices in over 120 locations, warns Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

In January the CMA launched a probe into the private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier and Rice’s (CD&R) purchase of Morrisons.

CD&R is the owner of giant Motor Fuel Group (MFG), which operates 921 petrol stations across England, Scotland and Wales under different brands such as Shell and BP.

Morrisons runs 339 petrol stations, most of which are located at its supermarkets.

The competition regulator said it now has concerns over 121 local areas where MFG and Morrisons both have forecourts and would face ‘limited competition’ from other players following the deal after, leading to an increase in prices.

READ MORE: Morrisons offer fuel vouchers to combat soaring prices

The warning comes after the recent surge in petrol and diesel prices across Britain.

“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,” CMA senior director of Mergers Colin Raftery said.

“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 five working days to offer proposals to the CMA to address the competition concerns identified.

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