The Competition and Markets Authority has said it is “minded to accept” Morrisons’ proposal to divest 28 stores in response to competition concerns.

McColls 1 prospect

Morrisons has offered to sell 28 stores across the UK

The government body launched an investigation into Morrisons’ acquisition of McColl’s back in July and found that the deal would not hurt the “vast majority of shoppers and other businesses”, but flagged concerns in 35 regions.

Morrisons has now offered to sell 28 stores in areas across the UK – including Perth, Brentwood, Swindon and Newport – to a purchaser that would be approved by the CMA.

The CMA said the proposal “seems to be suitable” to rectify competition concerns and is now consulting on the proposals.

CMA senior director of mergers Sorcha O’Carroll said: “Our preliminary view is that the sale of these stores will preserve competition in these local areas and prevent consumers from losing out due to this deal, at a time when shoppers are already facing rising prices.

“If, after reviewing the responses to our consultation, we conclude that the competition issues have been addressed, the deal will be cleared.”