UK lawmaker writes to competition watchdog over Morrisons bid

FILE PHOTO: A Morrisons store is pictured in St Albans, Britain, September 10, 2020. REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

LONDON (Reuters) – The head of Britain’s business select committee in parliament has written to the competition watchdog to voice concern that regulatory bodies lack the power to intervene when new owners act irresponsibly, in light of the bid for Morrisons.

Morrisons – Britain’s fourth largest grocer – this month rejected a proposed 5.52 billion pound ($7.6 billion) cash offer from private equity group Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R). Rival Asda was also recently taken private.

“There is concern that regulatory bodies have insufficient oversight or powers to intervene when new owners act irresponsibly,” he said in the letter to the head of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

“Can you please set out which (if any) issues here merit further consideration by the CMA? Please could you also advise what powers you currently have to deal with such issues, and/or identify what new powers you think ought to be considered so that these issues can be addressed?”

($1 = 0.7243 pounds)

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