Sainsbury's-Asda tie-up not a done deal yet, experts warn
LONDON (Reuters) - Shortly after last year's announcement of a $9.4 billion deal to combine the Sainsbury's (SBRY.L) supermarket group that he runs with rival Asda, boss Mike Coupe was caught on camera singing "We're in the money". Not so fast, some competition lawyers, analysts and rivals warn, ahead of a provisional regulatory ruling due in the coming weeks on a deal that could create Britain's largest retailer, with annual sales of about 51 billion pounds ($66 billion). Coupe and Roger Burnley, chief executive of Walmart (WMT.N) owned Asda, have said they do not expect the CMA to make the deal unpalatable. Rivals and suppliers have made a raft of submissions to the regulator opposing the deal. Some analysts also drew negative inference from Sainsbury's and Asda's pre-Christmas clash with the CMA over its refusal to give them more time to respond to evidence, a row that went to court. And some of the CMA's recent dealings have pointed to more intervention following a period where the perception was of a more hands-off approach.