The Office of Fair Trading is to look at Tesco’s planned purchase of 77 stores from northeast independent Mills Group.

The competition watchdog confirmed in a statement that it would examine the purchase and invited submissions by 7 January 2011.

Tesco announced the move last week under its One Stop convenience banner. The deal, whose value remains undisclosed, would take its overall estate of convenience stores to more than 1,700 outlets including Tesco Express stores.

The Association of Convenience Stores has already voiced its opposition to the sale. Chief executive James Lowman said the competition authorities had “repeatedly failed to grasp the implications of the continuing growth of Tesco's shadow brand”.

Read more
ACS: Tesco should face scrutiny over Mills buy (18 December 2010)
Tesco grows One Stop with swoop for northeast indie Mills Group (16 December 2010)