Competition authorities have dismissed Somerfield’s appeal against the sell-off of seven stores it bought from Morrisons last year.
The Competition Appeal Tribunal’s verdict has backed the Competition Commission’s decision that Somerfield should get rid of 12 of the 115 former Safeway stores it bought from Morrisons.
Somerfield took issue with selling seven of the earmarked stores. It also appealed against the restrictions on which companies it should sell them to, but that has also been rejected by the CAT.
Somerfield’s lawyers were reviewing the decision as The Grocer went to press, but could potentially take it to the Court of Appeal.
A full version of the verdict should be made public next week. After that, all parties will be able to enter submissions for division of costs. Unless Somerfield launches a further appeal, the rest of the legal process should take a few weeks. Its further purchase of ex-Safeway stores last month is still under review by the OFT.