The OFT has decided the purchase could significantly reduce competition in the book wholesaling sector.
Woolworths' entertainment wholesaling subsidiary Entertainment UK paid£29 million for Bertram Group in January, with the aim of expanding its domestic and international book sales.
The retailer said it is 'disappointed' that a referral is considered necessary, but intends to fully co-operate with the Competition Commission's inquiry, with the objective of obtaining a 'satisfactory outcome'.
Bertram Group is a leading wholesaler and distributor of books to libraries, schools, universities and educational institutions in the UK and the rest of the world.
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