The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is considering whether to investigate etail giant Amazon’s acquisition of online bookseller The Book Depository.
The OFT is seeking comment on whether there are any competition or public interest issues arising from the deal.
An OFT spokesman said: “We can open merger enquiries when merging parties approach us, and in this case the two parties notified us seeking regulatory clearance.
“If we think that there is a prospect of substantial lessening of competition as a result of the merger, we may refer the case to the Competition Commission.”
The OFT’s action came just hours after Amazon, which controls 70% of the UK online books market, revealed it acquired Gloucester-based The Book Depository for an undisclosed sum.
The Book Depository claims to be the fastest-growing online bookseller in Europe and has more than 1m customers in more than 100 countries. It is expected to generate sales of more than £120m this year.
Comments must be received by the OFT by July 18, and officials expect to come to a decision by August 30, 2011.