The CMA has unconditionally approved the acquisition of Sofology by DFS. The two retailers of sofas and other living room furniture overlapped in around 40 local areas and in many areas were located on the same retail park. Both were also active online.
CRA assisted the merging parties in demonstrating that the competitor set was wider than just specialist sofa retailers and also included large general ‘home’ product retailers like IKEA, Next and John Lewis. The CMA also noted a constraint from online sales.
The CMA focused on on a more limited number of local areas where, even having widened the competitor set, there were only two or fewer competitors post-merger. Despite this, the merging parties were able to persuade the CMA that no competition concerns would arise.
For more details, please see the CMA’s clearance decision.