Celesio / Sainsbury's Pharmacy Business merger inquiry

The CMA investigated the anticipated acquisition by Celesio AG of Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Limited UK Pharmacy Business.

Phase 2

Administrative timetable

Statutory deadline: 8.8.16

Date of referral: 29.12.15



Remedy group appointed

On 18 October 2016, the CMA appointed the following panel group members to the Celesio Sainsbury’s remedy group:

Simon Polito (Inquiry Chair), Sarah Chambers, Tim Tutton and Stephen Oram.

Stephen Oram ceased to be a member of the group on 31 March 2017.

Final undertakings

18 October 2016: The CMA has accepted undertakings from Celesio AG and Lloyds Pharmacy Limited to remedy the substantial lessening of competition identified in the final report.

Notice of proposal to accept final undertakings

Interim undertakings

Final report

Provisional findings

29 April 2016: The CMA has provisionally found that Celesio AG’s anticipated acquisition of Sainsbury’s pharmacy business could lead to a substantial lessening of competition in 13 areas in England and Wales.


The publication of the evidence of any party on the CMA’s webpages does not indicate in any way endorsement by the CMA of the views expressed in the evidence or acceptance of that evidence. Publication in this way is designed to assist public understanding of the issues.

Responses to provisional findings and notice of possible remedies

Responses to issues statement

Initial submissions

Hearing summaries

As part of its evidence-gathering process, the CMA is holding hearings with a range of industry customers and interested parties.


Customer research survey: CMA commissioned research

Issues statement

26 January 2016: The issues statement sets out the scope of the investigation. It outlines initial theories on what might be adversely affecting competition, but it does not set out findings or conclusions.

Inquiry group appointed

5 January 2016: The CMA has appointed the inquiry group.

Simon Polito (Inquiry Chair), Sarah Chambers, Stephen Oram, and Tim Tutton.

Disclosure of interest

Stephen Oram holds a small number of ordinary shares in GlaxoSmithKline and Shire. The CMA is satisfied that this matter will not prejudice the ability of the inquiry group to discharge its functions in an independent and impartial manner.

Terms of reference

29 December 2015: The CMA has referred the anticipated acquisition by Celesio AG of Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Limited UK Pharmacy Business.

Phase 1

Phase 1 dates Action
28 January 2016 Decision published
11 December 2015 Decision announced
9 September to 23 September 2015 Invitation to comment
9 September 2015 Launch of merger inquiry

Reference decision

Reference unless undertakings accepted

Launch of merger inquiry

9 September 2015: The CMA launched its phase 1 investigation following the European Commission’s decision to refer the case to the United Kingdom under Article 4(4) of the EC Merger Regulation.

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