Sainsbury’s-Asda merger to hit competition in 463 sites


UK competition authority has identified 463 sites where the proposed takeover of Asda by Sainsbury could seriously lessen competition.

Last week the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) referred Sainsbury’s proposed £7.3bn takeover of rival Asda, the British supermarket arm of Walmart, for an in-depth, or “phase 2”, review, saying shoppers could face higher prices or a worse quality of service in places where both chains had shops.

“At a local level, the Parties’ stores overlap in several hundred local areas across the UK,” the CMA said. “The CMA believes that the merger may give rise to a realistic prospect of an SLC in many of these local areas if Sainsbury’s and Asda are insufficiently constrained by other local competitors.”

Both Sainsbury’s and Asda had requested a fast-track to a phase 2 process.

The watchdog has a statutory deadline of 5 March to reach a decision.