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Examples of mergers that have been blocked by the CMA

Level:
AS, A-Level, IB
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AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB, Eduqas, WJEC

Last updated 5 Feb 2023

Here is a summary of some of the mergers that have been blocked by the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)

  1. Sainsbury's and Asda merger - blocked in April 2019 (see below)
  2. Fox and Sky merger - blocked in June 2016 due to concerns over media plurality and commitment to broadcast standards.
  3. Whirlpool and Indesit merger - blocked in December 2014 due to concerns over reduced competition in the domestic appliance market.
  4. BSkyB and ITV merger - blocked in March 2010 due to concerns over increased media concentration in the UK.
  5. Ryanair and Aer Lingus merger - blocked in June 2007 due to concerns over reduced competition in the Irish and European air travel markets.

These are just a few examples of mergers that have been blocked by the CMA. The CMA considers each case on its own merits and may block a merger if it believes it would result in a substantial lessening of competition and harm to consumers.

Why was the Sainsbury Asda merger blocked?

The proposed merger between Sainsbury's and Asda was blocked by the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in April 2019 due to concerns over reduced competition and increased prices for consumers.

The CMA found that the merger would result in a substantial lessening of competition at both a national and local level for groceries and would lead to higher prices for consumers. The CMA also found that the merger would reduce the number of strong national grocery retailers, which would lead to a reduced ability for suppliers to negotiate favorable terms and conditions.

As a result of these findings, the CMA ruled that the proposed merger was not in the best interest of consumers and blocked it from proceeding.

The UK is no longer a member of the European Union. But here is a quick summary of some of the mergers that have been blocked by the EU competition authorities.

  1. Siemens and Alstom merger - blocked in February 2019 due to concerns over reduced competition in the rail market.
  2. AT&T and Time Warner merger - blocked in November 2017 due to concerns over reduced competition in the pay-TV and content market.
  3. General Electric and Honeywell merger - blocked in July 2001 due to concerns over reduced competition in the aerospace and industrial controls market.
  4. AB InBev and SABMiller merger - blocked in November 2016 due to concerns over increased market concentration in the global beer market.
  5. Google and DoubleClick merger - blocked in March 2008 due to concerns over increased market dominance in the online advertising market.

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