Competition concerns over plans for supermarkets merger

Sainsbury's and Asda have been warned by the competition watchdog that nearly 500 of their supermarkets overlap following initial investigations into the £12bn tie-up.

Friday, 28th September 2018, 12:10 pm
Updated Friday, 28th September 2018, 1:17 pm
Sainsbury's flagship store in Blackpool

The Competition and Markets Authority said findings of its so-called phase one inquiry into the deal found potential competition issues for stores in 463 local areas.

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It raised concerns over 225 Sainsbury’s stores and 238 Asda stores. The revelation raises the prospect of potential widespread store sell-offs in order to see the CMA give the deal the green light.

The CMA last week launched the second stage of its investigation into the merger, which will create a supermarket titan bigger than Tesco, with revenues of £51bn and a network of 2,800 Sainsbury’s, Asda and Argos stores.

In its initial findings it said: “At a local level, the parties’ stores overlap in several hundred local areas across the UK.”