The Booker Group‘s acquisition of rival wholesaler Makro Holdings has received an approval from The Competition Commission of UK.

The acquisition was earlier referred to the Competition Commission by the Office of Fair Trading in November 2012.

Competition Commission deputy chairman and chairman of the Booker/Makro inquiry Simon Polito explained that the agency looked into all the aspects wherein the two companies currently overlap to understand the sources of supply that would remain post the acquisition.

"In all the areas we looked at, Booker would continue to face competition from national, regional or local wholesalers so we don’t believe customers will face higher prices, lower-quality service or other issues as a result of the merger," added Polito.

Booker and Makro are both cash-and-carry wholesalers and in its provisional approval, the Commission concluded that the merged company would continue to face sufficient competition from other wholesalers in all areas affected by the merger.

"The Commission therefore believes that the existing and potential alternatives offered by other suppliers will ensure that the merger does not lead to a substantial lessening of competition," said the agency.

"The Competition Commission found that although the parties can vary prices locally in response to competition, profitability does not markedly increase in areas with limited cash-and carry competition, underlining that other types of wholesaler do provide an alternative for customers.

"The Competition Commission believes that in the absence of the takeover by Booker, Makro would most likely have ceased trading and its properties sold to various parties," concluded the agency’s statement.