The Competition Commission told just-food today (30 March) that, were a takeover bid to go through for UK retailer Sainsbury's, the watchdog's investigation into competition in the grocery sector would not be delayed.

Responding to reports in the UK press that a bid for Sainsbury's, either from the private equity sector or a trade buyer, could delay publication of the CC's report, Commission spokesperson Rory Taylor said that the statutory two-year deadline would be met - no matter what. "Any market inquiry has to assess significant developments in its lifespan. It is not a situation that we are unfamiliar with," he commented.

Taylor said that, while the CC is keeping an eye on the situation, "there hasn't actually been a bid for Sainsbury's yet. It's not something it'd be right for us to worry about until there is a firm offer on the table."

With speculation mounting that Asda could also make a move on Sainsbury's, Taylor told just-food that a CC investigation into this could be run in conjunction with the market investigation.

"If Asda were to make a bid for Sainsbury's, it is quite likely that there could be a CC investigation into that. If that were to happen we would consider running the two investigations in parallel," Taylor said.