Convenience retail trade body the ACS has called on the OFT to stop the takeover of Mills Group by Tesco’s c-store business One Stop.
One Stop’s acquisition of 77-store business Mills, unveiled last month, should be investigated to see “whether consumer interests are harmed by the differing pricing, range and service levels in the One Stop format,” the ACS argued.
The trade organisation said the OFT should “undertake a full assessment of the implications on consumer choice, routes to market for new products and marketing, price and service in retail outlets.”
ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “If Tesco sought to take over a company operating 77 large supermarkets it would be subject to a full investigation and would most likely be blocked. We fail to see why this merger should be treated differently.
“A series of takeovers of convenience store groups has taken place in the past eight years and one have been subject to a full competition investigation.
“In that time Tesco has grown from a convenience store estate of around 80 stores to over 1,700. Now is the time to take a look at the broad implications of this growth for consumer choice.”