중앙데일리

Tesco empire grows with new addition

Sept 19,2008
Korea’s antitrust agency has given Homeplus, the local unit of the United Kingdom’s biggest discount store chain Tesco Plc., conditional approval for its takeover of Homever, the discount chain of Korea’s E.Land Group.

The Fair Trade Commission said in a statement yesterday it approved the acquisition, on the condition that five Homeplus branches, including one in Busan’s Haeundae District, keep prices below the average prices at other outlets nationwide.

With the takeover, Homever stores will become Homeplus outlets, meaning that Homeplus is the only discount store in these five areas. Thus, at any of these five stores, if consumers purchase a product for a higher price than the price at another nondiscounted Homeplus store, they will be refunded double the price difference, according to the FTC regulation.

In May, Homeplus said it would acquire all 35 Homever branches from E.Land Group, adding them to its 67 outlets. Homeplus is 94 percent owned by Tesco and 6 percent owned by Samsung Group. Currently, Shinsegae-owned discount store E-Mart is Korea’s top discount store.

“As competition could be limited in some areas, we have taken the measures to keep the prices there in competitive range,” an FTC statement said.


By Moon So-young Staff Reporter [symoon@joongang.co.kr]



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