“The grocery market has undergone huge changes since the CMA last investigated it very carefully in 2007 – with the rise of relative newcomers like Aldi and Lidl, the increasing prevalence of online shopping and the prospect of internet giants like Amazon entering the fray,” said DWF head of EU and competition Jonathan Branton.
‘Aggressively competitive market conditions’
“The CMA will need to be reassured that the merger won’t fundamentally alter the aggressively competitive market conditions it found in 2007, with the main players constantly trying to beat the prices offered by their competitors.”
At the end of last month, the CMA announced that the Asda/Sainsbury’s merger would probably be subject to review, to determine whether the deal would reduce competition and choice for shoppers.
Branton added: “It will be interesting to see the extent to which the CMA considers newcomers to the market to be genuine alternatives.”
Meanwhile, the merger could result in the loss of up to 2,500 jobs, according to think-tank New Economics Foundation.