OFT set to probe Book Depository deal

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has announced it is to investigate Amazon’s acquisition of The Book Depository.

The official body has issued an “invitation to comment” notice asking for written representations about “any competition or public interest issues” with Amazon’s move to acquire the UK-based online book retailer, which was announced yesterday. A spokesman for the OFT said the invitation “effectively starts our merger enquiry”.

The OFT will look at whether the takeover could be expected to lead to "a substantial lessening of competition" in any markets within the United Kingdom. If so, the merger will be referred to the Competition Commission for an investigation and report.

Comments must be submitted by 18th July and the OFT said it expects to reach a decision by 30th August. Written representations about any competition or public interest issues can be sent to Tim Geer, Office of Fair Trading, Fleetbank House, 2-6 Salisbury Square, London EC4Y 8JX. Or comments can be sent via the OFT website.