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Sainsbury’s and Asda merger blocked

The deal would have included Asda’s in-house opticians

Asda store

The Competition and Markets (CMA) authority has blocked the proposed merger of Sainsbury’s and Asda.

In its final report, the CMA stated that shoppers would be worse off if the deal went through resulting in “a substantial lessening of competition.”

Chair of the CMA’s inquiry group, Stuart McIntosh, said: “Following our in-depth investigation, we have found this deal would lead to increased prices, reduced quality and choice of products, or a poorer shopping experience for all of their UK shoppers. We have concluded that there is no effective way of addressing our concerns, other than to block the merger.”

The proposal, which included Asda’s in-house opticians, would have created a combined business that maintained the brands. It was first put forward in April 2018.