UK’s competition regulator has referred Sainsbury’s £7.3bn takeover of Asda to an in-depth review because their stores overlapped in hundreds of local areas.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has said that shoppers could face higher prices or a worse quality of service in places where both chains had shops. The watchdog added it will send out an issues statement detailing the issues for review in the “coming weeks”.
Both Sainsbury’s and Asda, the British arm of US retailer Walmart, had asked the CMA to move quickly onto the in-depth phase 2 stage, the regulator said in August when it started its inquiry.
The CMA said in August it was “vital to find out if the millions of people who shop in supermarkets could lose out as a result of this deal”.
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