Watchdog warns Asda takeover by Issa brothers 'could lead to higher UK fuel prices'

20 April 2021, 11:17

Watchdog warns prices may rise for fuel in UK
Watchdog warns prices may rise for fuel in UK. Picture: Getty
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

The UK competition watchdog has warned that the takeover of Asda by forecourt tycoons the Issa brothers "could lead to higher prices for motorists" in some areas.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said that investigations have raised "local competition concerns in relation to the supply of road fuel in 36 areas across the UK".

EG Group, the forecourt giant owned by Mohsin and Zuber Issa, operates 395 petrol stations, while Asda owns 323 sites.

Joel Bamford, senior director of mergers at the CMA, said: "Our job is to protect consumers by making sure there continues to be strong competition between petrol stations, which leads to lower prices at the pump.

"These are two key players in the market, and it's important that we thoroughly analyse the deal to make sure that people don't end up paying over the odds.

"Right now, we're concerned the merger could lead to higher prices for motorists in certain parts of the UK.

"However, if the companies can provide a clear-cut solution to address our concerns, we won't carry out an in-depth Phase 2 investigation."