I spoke for the SNP on an Urgent Question in the House of Commons this week for the SNP on the proposed merger of Sainsbury’s and Asda.
I raised concerns that this proposed merger of Britain’s second and third largest supermarket chains will need to be approved by the Competition and Markets Authority and be scrutinised by regulators such as the Groceries Code Adjudicator, which was set up to protect small suppliers. The consumers’ voice is essential, and there are very real concerns that the merger will lead to reduced competition and be bad for shoppers, potentially hitting prices and the range of products available.
Despite protestations to the contrary, fears remain that this could cost the jobs of the workers upon whose hard work these companies have been built. As we have heard, the Competition and Markets Authority may well demand that the combined group sells off some stores to prevent market dominance when there is both a Sainsbury’s and an Asda in the same area, but that can only be bad news for consumers and employees. This merger must not be at the expense of consumers’ interests or jobs.