Tesco and Booker ask UK regulator to "fast track" competition probe

LONDON, June 29 (Reuters) - British supermarket Tesco and its takeover target Booker have asked the UK competition regulator to "fast track" examination of their 3.7 billion pounds ($4.8 billion) deal to a more detailed second stage, they said on Thursday.

Tesco and the wholesaler Booker announced the cash and shares deal in January and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) formally started a Phase 1 review on May 30.

"We have now requested that the CMA uses the fast track process to allow it to move more quickly to examining the merger through a detailed Phase 2 process," the companies said.

They said they expect the CMA to issue a decision to refer to Phase 2 within the next two weeks. ($1 = 0.7715 pounds) (Reporting by James Davey; editing by Kate Holton)