Sainsbury and Asda will provide a more specific commitment to cut prices as part of their response to the Competition and Markets Authority’s provisional verdict on their planned £7bn merger, according to people briefed on the process.
They also said the supermarkets would recalculate a key indicator of consumer harm using what they consider to be more realistic criteria, and submit a counterproposal for store disposals. Analysts had previously estimated between 100 and 150 stores would need to be sold.
When Sainsbury’s announced its plans to acquire Asda last year, the two companies pledged to reduce the price of “everyday items” by at least 10 per cent, but did not specify how many or which products. However, that was not enough to prevent the CMA stating that more than 300 stores would have to be sold if the deal were to have any chance of securing approval.
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