By James Atkinson

Australia's competition watchdog is reviewing the proposed acquisition by Coles of four WA supermarkets – two of which have liquor licences – that are currently part-owned by Metcash.

Coles proposes to acquire the Busselton, Halls Head, Bunbury and Dianella stores from Progressive Supa IGA – a company that is 45.4 per cent owned by Metcash.

In a statement of issues, the ACCC said Coles would operate both the Halls Head and Busselton liquor licences under its Liquorland banner.

The watchdog said its preliminary view was that the proposed acquisition may lessen competition for supermarket retailing in one or more of the local markets, but it was unlikely to reduce competition where liquor retailing is concerned.

The ACCC has invited submissions on the matter by July 24, ahead of the intended announcement of its final decision on August 14.

The Shout Team

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