Asda and Sainsbury’s bosses grilled by MPs over merger
The chair of a select committee has told Asda's boss to "get real" and stop talking "baloney" in a grilling over the supermarket's merger between Asda and Sainsbury's this morning.
Asda's Roger Burnley and Sainsbury's boss Mike Coupe appeared in front of the the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) committee, which has launched an inquiry into the merger.They faced questions on suppliers, staff pay and cost savings.
Chair Neil Parish accused both Burnley and Coupe of talking "baloney" over market share figures and said that the cost of the merger would end up falling on the suppliers to the two supermarkets.
"It's a cut throat world out there and we know whose throat you're going to cut," he said.
He also said he expected Sainsbury's and Asda to eventually become one supermarket.
Burnley denied this, saying that Asda and Sainsbury's would remain "fiercely" independent brands.
However he also said that he could not imagine there being a "vast disparity" between the pay of Sainsbury's and Asda workers, after concerns were raised that Asda's staff are paid less.
Angela Smith MP asked Burnley if the merger was a "short-cut" for the businesses to maintain market share instead of innovating to compete with the likes of Amazon.
Burnley said that innovation would be part of the combined business.
The session is still ongoing.