TOP NEWS: Sainsbury And Asda Ask Extra Time To Respond To CMA Probe

LONDON (Alliance News) - J Sainsbury PLC said Wednesday it and Asda will lodge an application ...

Alliance News 12 December, 2018 | 8:18AM
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LONDON (Alliance News) - J Sainsbury PLC said Wednesday it and Asda will lodge an application with the Competition Appeal Tribunal for a judicial review of the Competition & Markets Authority's phase two investigation into their merger.

Sainsbury's shares were trading down 3.6% at 285.80 pence each on Wednesday morning, the worst performer of the FTSE 100 index.

The two supermarkets will ask for a review of the timetable and process, reflecting both companies' view that there currently is not sufficient time to consider all the evidence given the "unprecedented scale and complexity" of the case.

Specifically, Sainsbury's said they will ask the UK anti-monopoly regulator for an additional 11 working days over the Christmas period to be able to respond to a "large amount of material" recently provided to the supermarket.

"We are confident in the merits of the deal and our ability to deliver the synergies. By bringing our two businesses together, we will invest further in range, quality and customer service, while lowering prices and reducing the cost of living for millions of UK households," Sainsbury's reiterated.

The two UK supermarkets announced the intention to merge in a GBP14 billion deal back in April. Asda currently is owned by US retailing giant Walmart Inc.

The CMA has since launched an investigation into the merger, which in September was referred for an in-depth phase 2 investigation.

The probe will look into whether the merger could lead to a worse outcome for shoppers, through higher prices, poorer shopping experience or reductions in the range or quality of products offered, the CMA said.

The CMA expects to issue provisional findings early next year, ahead of the statutory deadline for its final decision on March 5.

By Elena Cherubini; elenacherubini@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2018 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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Securities Mentioned in Article
Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar Rating
Sainsbury (J) PLC 199.12 GBX -0.98
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