The merger between Co-op and Nisa was rubber stamped by the government today ahead of completion.
Sheldon Mills, senior director of mergers at the Competition and Markets Authority said shoppers “will not be worse off” following the deal, with consumer choice still in tact.
Co-op shareholders narrowly approved the £143 million purchase in November last year, with the decision pending approval by the CMA.
Yet the regulatory body affirmed that there are enough local alternatives to both Co-op and Nisa-supplied stores to ensure that people could still shop around to get the best value for them.
They added that Nisa will still be able to set their own prices and decide which products to stock after the merger, meaning the merged company would not be able to directly determine how they compete.
Peter Hartley, chairman of Nisa: “Today’s ruling by the CMA is excellent news, and a significant step towards finalising the transaction that our members voted for last November. We are very excited about our future together which will help ensure that our members are best placed to serve their communities.”
Mills, added: “Millions of people throughout the UK shop at convenience stores and supermarkets, and it is vital that they continue to have enough choice to get the best value for them.
“After careful consideration, we’ve found that there is sufficient competition in both the wholesale and retail sectors to ensure that shoppers are not worse off.”