The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has opened a consultation on undertakings proposed by MRH to remedy potential problems over two sites it acquired following its acquisition of 78 Esso petrol stations.
In November the CMA warned the number one Top 50 Indie MRH that it could face a full scale inquiry because of the concerns about competition in local areas of Brighton and Cambridge where MRH acquired Esso sites and the next nearest filling station was also owned by MRH.
The CMA said it was concerned that the merger could lead to higher petrol and diesel prices for drivers in these areas.
However, it added that MRH could avoid the deal being referred for an in-depth phase two investigation if it could offer an acceptable solution to address the CMA’s concerns.
MRH (GB) Limited has proposed to sell either the MRH Girton or the Esso City site in Cambridge, and the Esso Patcham site in Brighton.
The CMA has until 9 February 2016 to consider whether to accept the undertakings, or a modified version of them. As part of this process, the CMA is now consulting publicly on whether the proposals are sufficient to address its competition concerns.
The CMA is inviting interested parties to make their views known by 7 January.
Last year another leading Top 50 Indie, MFG, faced a similar situation about a site in Hythe, Kent, that it acquired as part of the Murco business. It averted a phase two inquiry by agreeing to sell the site.