The OFT has sought an undertaking from Asda in relation to it’s proposed acquisition of 194 Netto grocery stores in the UK.
On a national level, the OFT concluded that it is satisfied that the acquisition does not give rise to competition concerns because Netto’s market share in the UK is less than 1%. The OFT did have concerns, however, that the acquisition may lead to a substantial lessening of competition in around one in four of the local areas where there are overlapping stores.
Asda has offered to divest 47 Netto stores across the UK in a bid to address the local competition concerns and prevent the matter being referred to the Competition Commission for review.
The OFT is satisfied that many of the stores may be of interest to multiple eligible buyers but for the stores which may not attract such interested parties, Asda is required to find suitable buyers before the OFT will accept the divestment undertaking. Before the OFT accepts the divestment proposal it will be subject to prior public consultation.