Sainsbury’s and Asda call for judicial review of CMA investigation

Omnichannel retailer Sainsbury’s and Walmart owned Asda have announced that they are appealing for a judicial review of the CMA Phase Two investigation into the proposed merger of the two retail giants. They are arguing they have not been given enough time to provide evidence required by the authority.

In a statement, the two retailer said: “This application requests a review of the timetable and process, reflecting both Parties’ view that the current timetable does not give the Parties or the CMA sufficient time to provide and consider all the evidence given the unprecedented scale and complexity of the case.

“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 an 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.”

The merger could make for a massive player in the e-commerce sector here in the UK, with two of the Big Five supermarkets becoming one. With its Argos brand, Sainsbury’s is a competitor for Amazon while the food delivery sector could be skewed as well. It remains to be seen what the CMA concludes.