Blocking of Asda merger 'good for farmers'
The collapse of the Asda-Sainsbury's merger has saved local farmers from "unacceptable" price pressures, the Ulster Farmers' Union (UFU) has said.
The competition watchdog announced yesterday it had blocked the proposed £12bn deal on the grounds that it would damage competition and result in higher prices for consumers.
After the announcement, Sainsbury's and Walmart-owned Asda mutually agreed to terminate the move.
In its final report into the plan, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found that the deal would lead to increased prices in stores, online and at petrol stations.
Shoppers and motorists would be "worse off" if the supermarkets were to merge, the CMA maintained, adding that a tie-up would lead to price rises, reductions in the quality and range of products and a poorer overall retail experience.
The watchdog claimed that the deal would have resulted in a "substantial lessening of competition" at both a national and local level for people shopping in supermarkets.
UFU president Ivor Ferguson said the CMA's announcement did not come as a surprise.
"Its findings highlight the impact that the proposed merger could have had on the entire food supply chain, and for us the key concern has always been on the potential impact it could have on our members," he added.