April 30, 2018 / 3:13 PM / 5 months ago

UK grocery merger will help consumers, must be fair to suppliers-minister

LONDON, April 30 (Reuters) - Sainsbury's purchase of Walmart's Asda can be beneficial for the economy and consumers but it is important that suppliers are treated fairly in the deal, a junior British business minister said on Monday.

Sainsbury's has agreed to buy Walmart's Asda for about 7.3 billion pounds ($10 billion) to create Britain's biggest supermarket group by market share, overtaking long-standing leader Tesco.

"One of the things that the new merger will offer... is reduced costs for the consumer," junior business minister Andrew Griffiths told parliament.

"But... ensuring that the supply chain is properly protected is one of the priorities, and something I guarantee that we will keep a close eye on." (Reporting by Alistair Smout and Costas Pitas Editing by William Schomberg)

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