Groceries industry merger review

Aldwych Partners advised the Food and Drink Federation on its response to the proposed merger between Sainsbury’s and Asda.

The merger raised serious concerns for food and drink suppliers with the potential loss of a major alternative route to market and the significant cuts to supplier prices that seemed likely if the deal happened.

The Aldwych Partners team drew on its experience as former regulators, who had led the Competition Commission market investigation into UK supermarket retailers, to present suppliers’ concerns with maximum effect. This included carrying out a survey of FDF members, developing case studies on product innovation and participating at a CMA hearing for suppliers.

The CMA’s decision to block the Sainsbury’s-Asda deal maintained previous findings on supermarket buyer power, an important underpinning for the GSCOP (Groceries Supply Code of Practice), which provides important protections for food and drink suppliers in the UK.

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