A British parliamentary committee will question the CEOs of the U.K.’s second- and third-largest supermarkets, Sainsbury’s and Asda, ahead of their proposed tie-up, Reuters reported.
In April, Sainsbury’s announced a 7.3 billion pound deal to buy Asda, the U.K.-based subsidiary of U.S.-based Walmart. If it goes ahead, the combined giant will overtake Tesco as Britain’s biggest supermarket group.
The competition regulator has started a preliminary probe into the deal ahead of a formal investigation, while on Wednesday MPs from the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee said that they would also gather evidence on it, according to Reuters.
“Grocery retailers do not have a great record of treating their suppliers well,” the committee’s chair Neil Parish was quoted as saying.
“My committee is holding this session to investigate how the biggest potential shake-up of the grocery market in recent years could affect British farmers and suppliers, as well as consumers.”
In May, U.K.-based non-profit cooperative Banana Link said the proposed deal was “not good news” for fruit growers.