“Serious concerns” over fuel prices in wake of Sainsbury’s-Asda merger

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Sainsbury's staff pay

Conservative MP Robert Halfron has written to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) about the “serious concerns” he has over the price of petrol and diesel in the wake of a Sainsbury’s-Asda merger.

According to The Times, Halfron teamed up with campaign group Fair Fuel UK to demand assurances that fuel prices will be monitored through an independent watchdog should the £12 billion supermarket merger go ahead.

“Both I and Fair Fuel UK have serious concerns that this merger will affect market competition and there is a real worry that it will cause thousands of motorists to be hammered at the pumps,” Halfron said.

He added: “It’s even more vital that an independent pump price monitoring watchdog is created.”

If combined, Asda and Sainsbury’s will have the largest market share of petrol retailing in the UK at 17.9 per cent.

In 2017, Tesco held 16.1 per cent, BP 15.2 per cent and Shell 13.5 per cent according to market research by Statista.

“Until now, the big four supermarkets’ bulk fuel buying power has kept the big oil company forecourts from hiking prices too much,” Halfon said.

“They have created some competition amongst all fuel retailers, and consumers benefit as a result.

“But the supply chain continues to go unchecked so any reduction in fuel supply competition at the pumps is bad news,” he added.

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