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The Evening Standard reports that next week, the four supermarket companies looking to acquire Safeway Plc in the UK will have the opportunity to make their individual cases to the Competition Commission in an open hearing.

Tesco, Sainsbury, Wal-Mart and William Morrison all want to acquire Safeway, but their bids have been referred to the commission because of concerns about antitrust and monopoly issues.

In addition, consumer advocates who object to any or all of the companies’ bids will have the chance to express their concerns to the commission.

Philip Green, the only Safeway bidder not required to pass muster with the commission, is not scheduled to appear.

The Competition Commission is scheduled to make its decision by August 12.
KC's View:
We still don’t understand how Wm. Morrison got lumped in their with the rest of them. It is a much smaller company, and all a merger between it and Safeway would do is make both stronger and better able to compete with the big guys.

And yet, from what we hear, Wal-Mart and its Asda group apparently remain odds-on favorites to win this contest.