The Office of Fair Trading, which usually only investigates major deals such as the proposed takeover of Safeway, is considering whether the proposed purchase by Tesco of a single Co-operative Group store in Slough should be referred to the Competition Commission.

On Monday the OFT announced it was looking into the deal under the merger provisions of the 2002 Enterprise Act, and invited interested bodies to contact it by September 15.

If it decides the deal is covered by the act it will further consider whether “the creation of that situation may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the UK … which warrants reference to the Competition Commission”.

A report in The Grocer on August 16 (page 21) forecast the deal would increase Tesco’s share of the market in the Slough area from 40% to 52% and the store would be ranked 83rd in the Tesco estate based on turnover.