Proposed takeovers by supermarket companies Tesco, Wal-Mart’s Asda, J Sainsbury and William Morrison are all being investigated by the UK regulator. The Commission had been due to deliver its verdict to the DTI today [12 August], but will now have until 18 August, reported Dow Jones Business News.
The regulator is widely expected to recommend that the government blocks bids by Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury, leaving Yorkshire-based Morrisons as the only supermarket chain left in the running. Retail entrepreneur Philip Green has also expressed interest in acquiring Safeway, but was not subject to the Competition Commission enquiry as he has no interests in the food retail sector.
The Commission sought the extension following a meeting requested by one of the parties last week.
“I have decided to give the Competition Commission a six day extension to ensure that the views of all parties and the Group on the issues that have been raised regarding these mergers are accurately reflected in the final report,” DTI Minister Jacqui Smith was quoted by Dow Jones as saying.