Opinion: The CMA is on a power trip – and retail should be worried


Lord Andrew Tyrie hasn’t written his memoirs yet. If and when he does, he might want to consider borrowing the title: How to Lose Friends and Alienate People.

Because in his role as chair of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), that is exactly what he is doing.

The UK’s competition watchdog has already made a few high-profile enemies across the retail sector, in particular since Lord Tyrie assumed his position in June 2018.

Its decision to block Sainsbury’s merger with Asda last year, followed by the frankly laughable conclusion last month that JD Sports’ acquisition of Footasylum – a company whose market share stands at less than 5% – would see shoppers lose out “through fewer discounts and less choice in stores and online”, have left plenty in the industry questioning the authority’s methods and motives.

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