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Sainsbury's and Asda merger in doubt

The UK’s competition watchdog has raised the alarm over the proposed merger of supermarkets Sainsbury’s and Asda.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has warned that the move could lead to a worse experience for shoppers, as well as reductions in the range and quality of products on offer.

It also said it would be “difficult” for Sainsbury’s and Asda to address its concerns.

The CMA can either block the deal or request that the two companies sell a “significant” number of stores or other assets, including one of the Sainsbury’s or Asda brands.

Stuart McIntosh, chair of the independent inquiry group carrying out the investigation, said: “These are two of the biggest supermarkets in the UK, with millions of people purchasing their products and services every day.

”We have provisionally found that, should the two merge, shoppers could face higher prices, reduced quality and choice, and a poorer overall shopping experience across the UK.”

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