The CMA “invitation to comment” was released today as the start of an information gathering process before the formal investigation begins.
The purpose of the investigation is to see if the merger would “result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services”.
A CMA spokesperson said: “[We are] also likely to proactively contact companies and organisations that are active in the markets affected by the proposed merger, or have valuable insights or evidence that could affect the CMA’s investigation.”
The ‘phase one’ investigation is to see if there is enough evidence to move to a ‘phase two’ investigation.
Experts have previously suggested the supermarket giants may have to close at least 75 stores in order to push the merger through.