The UK’s competition watchdog will examine if the Sainsbury’s-Asda takeover will allow discounters and online retailers to develop their businesses to the disadvantage of independent retailers.

In its latest announcement on the deal, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it will also review the proposed takeover’s impact on the price of fuel and small electricals alongside groceries.

Stuart McIntosh, chair of the independent group conducting the investigation, said: “Millions of people shop at Asda and Sainsbury’s every week, so it is essential we carry out a thorough investigation into their proposed merger.

“Our job is to find out whether the merger will result in people paying more or being faced with less choice or a poorer quality shopping experience.”

The announcement comes as the CMA referred the deal, which was first announced in April, to an in-depth Phase 2 investigation last month. The supermarkets could be forced to dispose of shops in 460 areas in order to appease the CMA.

Read more on this story: Sainsbury’s-Asda to face in-depth CMA investigation

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