Shoppers face higher prices after Asda’s petrol swoop
ASDA’S swoop on 132 Co-op petrol stations could be blocked because it risks pushing up prices for drivers and shoppers, the competition watchdog said.
The supermarket giant may be forced to sell forecourts in 13 areas where the Competition and Markets Authority found the deal could hit customers.
Asda has five days to propose a solution to the regulator or faces an in-depth probe of the Co-op deal, which could see it undone.
Asda bought Co-op’s petrol station arm last September for £600m, adding to the 320 the supermarket already owned.
That bolstered the forecourt empire of Asda’s billionaire owners, the Issa brothers.
The Blackburn-based pair, who bought Asda for £6.8bn in 2020 with the backing of private equity house TDR Capital, also own forecourt giant EG Group, which has 6,000 petrol stations across Europe, including 340 in the UK.
Mohsin Issa said they are ‘looking forward’ to working with the CMA on the issue.
Asda also faces claims it has ‘dumped’ its focus on cheap fuel since being taken over by private equity. Howard Cox of campaign group Fair Fuel UK said: ‘It’s clear Asda’s previously low cost pricing model has been dumped.’