The Times said that the Competition Commission will tomorrow publish the hypothetical remedies that may be required from potential bidders should their proposed bids be perceived as against the public interest.
It is expected the CC will provide a clue as to whether Asda and Tesco would be able to launch a bid for Safeway without having to sell a large number of Safeway's 479 stores.
Retail entrepreneur Philip Green will abandon a bid for Safeway if a Competition Commission inquiry allows Wal-Mart owned Asda to make an offer for a large number of Safeway’s 500 stores.
The Observer said Green is waiting for the CC’s to outline the measures bidders might need to take to win regulatory clearance. An industry source told the paper: “Philip won’t want to get involved in any kind of bidding tussle with Asda.” Green has remained silent on his intentions over Safeway since declaring a willingness to bid in March.
The Sunday Express reported that the remedies statement to be issued by the Competition Commission this week to guide Asda , Morrisons, Sainsbury and Tesco on how many stores each would have to sell to bid for Safeway is not legally binding.
The paper said that the document will be examined in detail by lawyers and lobby firms working on the rival bids and could also give further guidance on the scope on the inquiry.