UK: Four Safeway bidders referred to competition authority
The UK's Trade and Industry Secretary, Patricia Hewitt, acting on the advice of the Office of Fair Trading, has ordered the Competition Commission to look into four of the prospective bidders for supermarket chain Safeway. The initial bid for Safeway, which came from William Morrison, is to be referred to the Commission, as are bids from Wal-Mart subsidiary Asda, Sainsbury's and Tesco. All four bids have been referred on the grounds that the resulting mergers could be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition. Entrepreneur Philip Green's bid will not face the scrutiny of the Commission, as he has no other interests in food retail.
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