MPs are likely to launch an inquiry into the proposed merger of Sainsbury’s and Asda, separate to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) investigation.

On Friday (18 May) the CMA formally launched the first phase of its probe into the merger, with a deadline set for 4 June. During this period, the CMA will explore whether the deal ”could reduce competition and choice for shoppers”.

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) committee is now considering its own inquiry, a spokesman told C-Store.

“We’re thinking about it. It’s likely but it hasn’t been formally agreed yet,” he added. “The CMA has a statutory role in the procedure but we would look at the knock-on effect of the merger on other parties, such as suppliers and small businesses.”

The (EFRA) committee may also work alongside the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) committee, the spokesman said.

Sainsbury’s and Asda announced plans to merge their two businesses last month. The merger would see more than 2,800 Sainsbury’s, Asda and Argos stores - and several of the UK’s most-visited retail websites - trade under one combined business.