Petrol and diesel prices could spike at Morrisons fuel stations drivers warned

BBC Breakfast compare petrol and diesel prices

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While petrol and diesel prices are already at their highest ever levels, prices could be pushed higher in 121 locations across the UK. A £7.1billion takeover of Morrisons by a US private equity firm has led to the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) to issue a warning.

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) is responsible for the takeover of Morrisons, which previously prompted an investigation by the CMA.

The American private equity firm is the owner of the Motor Fuel Group (MFG) which is the largest independent operator of petrol stations in the UK.

MFG operates 921 petrol stations across England, Scotland and Wales under a number of different brands, such as Esso, BP, Shell, Texaco, Jet and Murco.

While Morrisons is predominantly a groceries retailer, it operates 339 petrol stations, the vast majority of which are located at its supermarkets across the UK.

The regulator said it now has concerns over 121 local areas where MFG and Morrisons both have forecourts and would face “limited competition” from other players following the merger.

It said “the deal could lead to an increase in prices” due to the lack of competition.

Colin Raftery, Senior Director of Mergers at the CMA, warned that drivers could see further price increases.

He said: “Prices for petrol and diesel have recently hit record highs, which makes it even more important that we don’t allow a lack of competition at the pump to make the situation worse.

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“We’re concerned that this deal could lead to higher prices for motorists in some parts of the country.

“But if CD&R and Morrisons are able to address these concerns, then we won’t need to move on to an in-depth investigation of the merger.

Current data from the RAC Foundation shows the average price for a litre of petrol now stands at 167.01p, with diesel drivers facing an average cost of 179.9p per litre.

According to RAC Fuel Watch, these prices “should fall” after weeks of near-constant price increases.

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