Walmart sale of Sainsbury to Asda would see merged company dominate 60% of the UK market.


“Can he confirm there will be no job losses? No changes to pay terms and conditions? It is clear that a duopoly of the big supermarkets Tesco, Asda & Sainsbury’s will now emerge, providing never before seen bargaining power.

The statement this morning promises to bring prices down for consumers, but it is feared that this will be at the expense of farmers, manufacturers and suppliers whose prices and terms will be driven down, pushing many to the edge of collapse. Can the Minister confirm that this will not be the case?

Would the minister agree that control of 60% of the entire UK market by the duopoly may risk consumer choice and provide less incentive to entice good offers.

There are many risks with this Bill. He says he has no power to intervene directly, as it does not meet the public interest test of National Security, Media Plularity and financial stability.

With a deal that could radically alter the whole grocery sector from farm and factory to supermarket shelf, will he finally use his powers to broaden the scope of the public test to include the National Interest of deals of economic significance as this?”

Shadow Business Secretary Rebecca Long Bailey, Urgent Question: Sainsbury and Asda (Merger)

Why are Walmart selling? Walmart has had to delay and slow down its expansion plans because of the allegations and ongoing investigations of bribery under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  Walmart’s stock even plummeted by 8% when the initial media report came out in 2012.  Hearings, commissions and investigations continued in El Salvador, Mexico, USA and India to determine how wide scale the problem has become.

Global action against Walmart went from a one day action in 2012 to a week of actions in November 2013.  Workers and their supporters in the USA, Canada, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, Mexico, El Salvador, India, Bangladesh and Nicaragua all held actions to show support for better working conditions at Walmart stores and throughout Walmart’s supply chain.

In June 2013 Walmart Union leaders from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and South Africa travelled all the way to Walmart’s headquarters in Bentonville, USA.  Workers took part in protests, trainings and even Walmart’s annual shareholder meeting where workers from the USA and Bangladesh both spoke demanding the Walmart Board of Directors do better by workers.

Outrage spread quickly in November 2013 when a Walmart store in Ohio, USA started to ask Walmart workers to donate food for fellow workers.  This story of Walmart workers not earning enough to afford food for their families became a rallying cry for Walmart associates leading up to Black Friday.

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