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Reuters reports that after months of haggling and probing, UK analysts believe that William Morrison Supermarkets will be the only British chain cleared by competition authorities there to bid for Safeway Plc, the nation's fourth largest food retailer.

Since fifth-ranked Morrison originally made a bid early this year, numerous other retailers have gotten into the act - Tesco, Wal-Mart and Sainsbury have been among those companies that have attempted to outbid Morrison for Safeway.

The Competition Commission is due to hand in its confidential recommendations next week, with a final decision rendered by mid-September.

The key decision that needs to be made is whether supermarket competition in the UK will be hurt if any of the top ranked chains were able to acquire Safeway. If analysts are correct and Morrison is the only one cleared, it would likely mean that the nation will see a stronger fourth player in the business, rather than one of the top three chains made even stronger by an acquisition.

However, analysts also are saying that if Wal-Mart's Asda Group is cleared to bid, it almost certainly will win, since it has the deepest pockets.
KC's View:
We've been saying since the beginning that Morrison ought to win, that any other outcome would hurt the UK food business and the UK consumer.

Maybe the folks over there finally are listening…?