UK supermarket retailer Morrisons may have to sell up to 80 stores to satisfy competition authorities if it is to takeover rival Safeway.

A new study of the UK supermarket network suggests that Morrisons could need to make more store disposals than originally thought, according to a report in the Financial Times.

When the chain first launched a bid for Safeway in January, Morrisons thought it would only have to sell around ten stores to satisfy local competition concerns.

But a survey by CACI, a data and consultancy group, shows that Morrisons and Safeway stores overlap in 78 cases.

The CACI study is based on a drive time of around 15-20 minutes, which could be the measure used by the Competition Commission in its evaluation of the potential bidders for Safeway. On a 10-15 minute drive time, Morrisons would have 46 store overlaps.