Sainsbury’s and Asda make CMA appeal

Supermarkets lodge appeal over merger inquiry

Sainsbury’s and Asda are calling for more time to digest objections over Christmas.

ASDA and Sainsbury’s have lodged an appeal against the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) over the watchdog’s phase two investigation into the pair’s proposed merger.

The application to the Competition Appeal Tribunal calls for a judicial review of the timetable and process, with both Asda and Sainsbury’s claiming the current timetable does not give them enough time to consider and respond to all the evidence given questioning the deal

Following a call for evidence from the CMA, the two supermarkets have been faced with numerous objections from major retailers, suppliers and trade associations.

Morrisons and Aldi have both expressed concerns that the deal could harm competition, while the National Farmers Union (NFU) Scotland said the deal would lead to “greater potential for unfair trading practices.”

A Sainsbury’s spokesman said: “Both Parties have engaged constructively with the CMA to date and have made repeated requests for additional time.

“Specifically we have asked the CMA for and additional 11 working days over the Christmas period to respond to a large amount of material recently provided to us.

“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.”