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UK Regulator Raps Sainsbury's And Asda For Preventing Rival Store Openings

By Donna Ahern
UK Regulator Raps Sainsbury's And Asda For Preventing Rival Store Openings

Britain's competition watchdog has secured agreements from supermarket groups Sainsbury's and Asda to cease using unlawful land agreements after it uncovered 32 anti-competitive deals, it said on Tuesday.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said both grocers had breached legislation which was introduced to stop supermarkets imposing new restrictions that prevent rivals from opening competing stores nearby.

It said Sainsbury's breached the legislation 18 times between 2011 and 2019, while Asda breached it 14 times between 2011 and 2019.

"By ensuring supermarkets compete freely, the CMA is ensuring that shoppers have more choice and so benefit from a wider range of groceries and access to cheaper prices – which is even more important as the cost of living rises," the watchdog said.

Removing Restrictions 


It said Sainsbury's had agreed to remove the outstanding restrictions identified in its land agreements to become compliant with the legislation, while the restrictions identified in Asda's deals have been removed.

Action has also been agreed to prevent further breaches.

Frozen Prices 

Asda, has frozen the prices of over 500 products until the end of August, it announced yesterday, adding to signs that a surge in food inflation is set to abate and even reverse in the coming months.

The retailer, which trails market leader Tesco and No. 2 Sainsbury's, said that the price lock included both branded and own brand products.


Examples included cupboard essentials such as cereals, pasta and tea, as well as salads, burgers and ice cream.

Read More: UK Supermarket Asda Freezes Prices Of 500 Products

News by Reuters, edited by Donna Ahern, Checkout. For more retail news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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