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Sainsbury-Asda Merger Competition Ruling Is Set for Thursday

  • Competition and Markets Authority expects to report this week
  • Sainsbury has offered to sell up to 150 stores to appease CMA
A customer pushes a shopping cart as she browses for produce in the fruit and vegetable section of an Asda supermarket, operated by Wal-Mart Stores Inc., in the Wembley district of London.

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Updated on

The U.K.’s antitrust regulator will publish its final decision Thursday on J Sainsbury Plc’s 7.3 billion-pound ($9.4 billion) plan to buy Walmart Inc.’s Asda, after attaching harsher-than-expected conditions to the deal in February.

Sainsbury’s attempt to buy the grocer -- which would create the biggest U.K. supermarket chain -- looked close to collapse in February after the Competition and Markets Authority said in a provisional report that even with substantial store sales, the deal would likely mean higher prices and less choice for shoppers. Sainsbury shares plunged the most in a decade on the report.