Competition watchdog extends review deadline for Sainsbury’s/Asda deal

London, UK: The Competition and Markets Authority has decided to extend the “reference period” for investigating Sainsbury’s proposed takeover of Asda by eight weeks to April 30.

The CMA based its decision on the “scope and complexity” of the investigation along with the need to consider issues raised by the two companies and third parties. “It is necessary to allow sufficient time to take full and proper account of comments that will be received in response to the inquiry group’s provisional findings”, it added.

Late last year Sainsbury’s and Asda argued they had been given insufficient time to respond to requests for documentation.

The takeover would create the UK’s largest supermarket group with a market share of over 30%. Some industry pundits believe the companies will have to sell off at least some stores in order to secure approval.

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