US retail group A&P has indicated that it will not buy regional supermarket chain Pathmark until 5 October at the earliest.

A&P agreed to buy Pathmark in a US$1.3bn deal back in March but the companies have been awaiting the green light from US regulators.

The US Federal Trade Commission has been studying the deal's impact on competition in the supermarket sector.

A&P said last night (20 September) that, following discussions with the FTC, the company and Pathmark had agreed to give the FTC two weeks' notice before closing the deal. A&P added that would be no sooner than 5 October.

A&P, majority owned by German conglomerate The Tengelmann Group, runs 337 stores across eight US states.

Pathmark operates 141 outlets in the New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia metropolitan areas.