Greens look to EU to block mega-merger between Sainsbury’s and Asda

Molly has written to the EU Competition Commissioner challenging her to intervene to block the proposed Sainsbury’s-Asda merger. The mega-merger would create a mammoth supermarket with a market share of over 30%, out-stripping rival Tesco.

Molly, who is economy and finance speaker for the Green Party, says the merger would work against the interest of consumers, food producers and small businesses by concentrating power and having a negative impact on competition. she said:

“The UK’s food retail market seems to be on a conveyor belt towards increasing concentration and reduced competition. I hope the EU Competition Commission will checkout this proposed merger and force Sainsbury’s and Asda to shelve their plans.

“It cannot be right for just two retailers to hold almost 60% of the market. This is not in the interests of UK consumers or food producers. We know that the larger these companies become, the more ruthless they are in seeking to eliminate competition and pressure producers, leaving them struggling to remain viable.

“The EU has taken a lead in challenging unfair practices in the food supply chain so I hope that the Competition Commissioner will conclude that the concentration of power into the hands of a small group of titans leads to unfair contracting practices with farmers and food suppliers. The fact that the UK imports a large percentage of its food from the EU should also focus minds at the Commission because such a merger could have far reaching implications for European suppliers.

“The EU has acted where the UK authorities have often failed to. If the UK does not show itself willing to block such mega-mergers, farmers, food producers and small independent retailers will rightly be worried about what sort of business and economic environment they face post-Brexit.”  

Molly has also written to the Chair of the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority to highlight concerns about the proposed merger. The UK’s competition watchdog has announced it is likely to investigate a proposed merger.