Landmark Wholesale managing director John Mills has slammed the decision by the Competition and Market Authority (CMA) to give the Booker-Tesco merger the provisional go-ahead.
Mills, one of seven signatories to a letter sent to the CMA warning of the implications of the merger being given the green light, believes the move will “destroy” competition in the FMCG wholesale channel.
The buying group boss also claims the merger will lead to Tesco dominating the foodservice supply market, too.
Mills said: “We are incredibly disappointed with the CMA’s decision. This move will not increase competition, it will destroy it. The combined Booker-Tesco business has sales of £60bn while the rest of the UK wholesale industry amounts to £25bn.
“Other wholesalers will not be able to compete with the buying and distribution power of Booker-Tesco. As a result of this decision Tesco, which currently accounts for £1 in every £8 spent on the high street, will dominate the convenience and corner shop market, and will undoubtedly now dominate the foodservice/out of home market as well.”
He added: “We believe that there is a risk that thousands of jobs will disappear from family-run foodservice wholesalers and independent stores and the net impact will reduce choice for consumers and communities, a point that seems to have been totally lost to the CMA.
“The challenge is now for Landmark, and others, to work harder than ever to find better, smarter and more efficient ways of buying and working. We will continue to work closely with our members to ensure that we provide them with the best possible trading platform to compete in this changing and increasing competitive marketplace.”