MFG has averted a full inquiry into its takeover of Murco’s retail business, after concerns were raised that the deal would damage competition in the Hythe area of Kent.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has accepted undertakings from MFG to sell the Murco petrol station (Seapoint Filling Station) in the town.
The CMA said that before accepting the undertakings it carefully assessed and consulted publicly on them. It added that it did not receive any concerns in response to its public consultation, and it is satisfied that the undertakings will resolve the competition concerns identified.
As a result of the CMA’s acceptance of the undertakings, the acquisition of the Murco petrol stations will not now be referred for an in-depth phase 2 investigation.
Before Christmas the CMA raised concerns about the MFG/Murco deal because it would mean MFG would own both the petrol stations in Hythe, and this could result in a lessening of competition for consumers in the area. But it added that a full competition inquiry could be averted if MFG came up with a strategy to tackle the problem.
MFG proposed the sale of the freehold of Seapoint Filling Station, and the CMA said it believed this action would satisfy its competition concerns, but before reaching a decision on whether to accept the proposed undertaking, it was inviting interested parties to make their views known. The deadline for responses was 5pm on 5 February 2015.
MFG acquired 228 Murco branded petrol stations and 226 fuel supply contracts for independent dealers from Murco in October. Pre-acquisition, MFG owned and operated 60 petrol stations in the UK under the BP, Jet, and Total brands.