UK: Sainsbury believes regulator erred

According to a report from Bloomberg, Sainsbury and Asda are arguing that officials got their math wrong and were duped about a rival’s intentions.

Sainsbury stepped up its push to salvage the deal on Thursday, March 14, before the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which stunned the supermarkets on February 20 by announcing harsher-than-expected findings on the £7.3 billion (US$9.6 billion) transaction. The CMA claimed its initial view was that the deal, —even with substantial store divestitures, —would likely bring higher prices and worse choice for shoppers.

Sainsbury is arguing that officials made basic counting errors in their analysis of the companies’ store networks, according to people familiar with the situation. The company also claims says Marks & Spencer Group Plc misled the regulator about a pending online-grocery agreement with Ocado Group Plc that changes the competitive landscape in the supermarket business, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.

Full Content: Bloomberg

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