Tesco Opticians, Vision Express Merger Undertakings Accepted by UK's Competition Authority

By Ian Walker Features Dow Jones Newswires

The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority said Wednesday that it accepted undertakings in relation to the merger of Tesco Opticians and Vision Express (UK) Ltd., and will therefore not refer the deal for further investigation.

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The regulator didn't give any further explanation, but said the text of its decision will be on its website as soon as practical.

The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority said last month that remedies offered by Vision Express to satisfy its concerns over the company's acquisition of Tesco Opticians may be sufficient to allow the deal to go ahead.

Tesco PLC (TSCO.LN), the U.K.'s number one grocer by market share, announced in April that it was selling its optical business in the U.K. and Republic of Ireland to Vision Express for an undisclosed sum, subject to CMA approval.

However in September, the CMA said it believed the deal could lead to a substantial lessening of competition within a market or markets in the U.K. and sought remedies to address this situation.

On Oct. 5, Vision Express offered to sell a Vision Express store in each of the three local areas in which competition concerns were identified.

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The CMA said on Oct. 11 it had considered the undertakings offered and believed there to be reasonable grounds for these, or a modified version, to be accepted to remedy the competition issues identified.

Write to Ian Walker at ian.walker@wsj.com; @IanWalk40289749

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 15, 2017 02:44 ET (07:44 GMT)