The OFT said the deal, which was agreed in August, would mean that Cott would supply 57% of own label carbonated soft drinks in the UK and raised concerns that it would lead to higher prices.
Andrew Murfin, MD of Cott UK, said: “We are confident that the commission will agree that this acquisition does nothing to diminish the robust competition that currently exists among non-alcoholic beverage manufacturers.” He added that Cott would fully co-operate with the review.
The Competition Commission is expected to report back its findings by May 15, 2006.
The OFT’s decision could place a question mark over the clearance of Premier Foods’ acquisition of meat-free and organic food producer Cauldron Foods, which it bought last month for £27m.
Premier owns vegetarian brand Quorn and the deal would give it a stronghold in the chilled vegetarian sector. The OFT is inviting comments on the deal, with a deadline of December 19.