The mega-merger between supermarket giants Sainsbury and Asda has been killed off by the UK’s competition watchdog, which says creating such a grocery monster would undermine competition when it comes to us lot deciding where to buy our cheese and chocolate chip cookies from.
The Competition and Markets Authority has come to the conclusion that despite mitigating offers by the pair any such deal would inevitably allow them to increase prices in areas where there’s no other competition for our meagre dinner budgets, with the CMA saying shoppers would face less choice, higher fuel prices in some areas, and any merger would create a “poor shopping experience” that would also leak into the online world by leading to fewer home delivery options.
The CMA’s inquiry leader Stuart McIntosh said: “We have concluded that there is no effective way of addressing our concerns, other than to block the merger.”
Sainsbury’s thinks it’s a poor decision, with its CEO Mike Coupe saying: “The CMA’s conclusion that we would increase prices post-merger ignores the dynamic and highly competitive nature of the UK grocery market. The CMA is today effectively taking £1bn out of customers’ pockets.”