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Sainsbury's/Asda merger faces investigation

The proposed £12bn merger of supermarkets Sainsbury’s and Asda is set to face scrutiny from MPs.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has requested views on the deal as it prepares for its own investigation, and MPs are calling for an additional select committee inquiry to seek reassurances that customers and suppliers would be treated fairly in the deal.

The Mail on Sunday reported that Labour MP Rachel Reeves, who leads the business, enterprise and industrial strategy committee, and Conservative MP Neil Parish, chairman of the parliamentary food and rural affairs committee, have called on the CMA to take evidence from the supermarkets’ suppliers. Parish was said to be “suspicious” about the deal.

Commenting on the inquiry, a spokeswoman for Sainsbury’s commented: “We strongly believe the proposed combination of Sainsbury’s and Asda will create a dynamic new UK retailer that will benefit both customers and suppliers alike. Our values as a business, together with our strong track record of working closely with our suppliers, will not change.”

“For our suppliers, and our small supplier in particular, the merger presents an opportunity to grow their businesses as we grow ours.”

Meanwhile, Asda highlighted its “long-term relationships” with suppliers.

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