ASDA’s purchase of Co-op petrol stations could lead to higher prices, CMA finds
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has poured cold water on a plan for ASDA to buy 132 Co-op petrol stations, finding the deal could lead to higher prices at 13 locations, including two in London.
The CMA said the deal “raises competition concerns” in 13 locations, including the Caledonian Road and East Peckham, where ASDA is already considered an “important option” for customers.
“Groceries and fuel account for a large part of most household budgets. As living costs continue to rise, it’s particularly important that deals that reduce competition among groceries and fuel suppliers don’t make the situation worse,” CMA senior director of mergers Colin Raftery said.
“While competition concerns don’t arise in relation to the vast majority of the 132 sites bought by Asda, there’s a risk that customers could face higher prices or worse services in a small number of areas where Asda would face insufficient competition in either groceries or fuel after the deal goes through.”
ASDA now has five working days to offer its proposals to the CMA to address the concerns. The supermarket giant may opt to divest the petrol stations in question in order to secure approval.