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UK Watchdog Reprimands Sainsbury’s & Asda Over ‘Anti-Competitive Agreements’

 |  June 13, 2023

The competition regulator has addressed Sainsbury’s and Asda regarding land agreements that may be considered unlawful as they limit the ability to compete chains to open stores nearby.

The CMA discovered 32 instances where chains imposed limitations on land agreements, which it deemed to be anti-competitive.

The watchdog is currently investigating the grocery sector due to concerns about shoppers potentially being affected by the cost of living crisis. Food inflation is at record levels.

Related: UK’s Sainsbury & Visa Settle Interchange Fee Suit 

The CMA discovered that Sainsbury’s and Asda, who hold the second and third highest market shares in the UK, violated the Groceries Market Investigation (Controlled Land) Order 2010, which aims to prevent supermarkets from implementing new regulations that prevent competitors from opening stores nearby.

“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”, the statement said.

The report stated that Sainsbury’s was responsible for 18 land agreements, ranging from 2011 to 2019.