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August 31, 2018updated 03 Sep 2018 9:44am

CMA rules on Sainsbury’s-Asda merger / Bachelet becomes Human Rights Commissioner / IFA Berlin gets underway

By Luke Christou

Good morning, here’s your Friday morning briefing to set you up for the day ahead. Look out for these three things happening around the world today.

CMA rules on Sainsbury’s-Asda merger

An investigation into the propoed merger between British supermarket giants Sainsbury’s and Asda will reach its first deadline today. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) had asked third parties to submit comments on how the proposed merger could impact business and competition in the UK.

The two parties have asked the CMA to fast-track the phase one process. Unless the comments provided suggest that that the merger could effect competition in the industry, a decision is likely to be made today. If the CMA agrees, phase one will likely be concluded by the end of next week.

The merger, which will see ASDA become part of the Sainsbury’s plc group while retaining a 42% stake in the company, was first proposed in May at a cost of £15bn.

If the deal goes ahead, the group’s sales would total £51bn. That would put it ahead of Tesco, which recorded group sales of £49.9bn in the United Kingdom last year.

The CMA must make a final decision on the merger by 19 October.

Bachelet succeeds al-Hussein as Human Rights Commissioner

Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, will step down today to make way for former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet.

Al-Hussein confirmed that he would not be seek another term in December. Bachelet was confirmed as the organisation’s next top human rights official by Secretary General Antonio Guterres earlier this month.

Bachelet, a strong advocate of women’s rights, was the first woman to serve as the president of Chile.

She suffered numerous human rights violations under Chile’s right wing dictatorship during the 1970s.

Following her appointment, executive director of Human Rights Watch Kenneth Roth said:

“As a victim herself, she brings a unique perspective to the role on the importance of a vigorous defence of human rights. People worldwide will depend on her to be a public and forceful champion.”

IFA Berlin gets underway

IFA Berlin, the world’s leading trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances, gets underway today.

More than 1,700 exhibitors are expected to take their place in the German capital to put their products in front of the masses. Among them will be tech giants such as Samsung, Google, and Huawei.

Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note 9, officially announced at an Unpacked event earlier this month, is likely to get plenty of airtime, while Chinese tech manufacturer Huawei will see IFA as an opportunity to continue to push into the European smartphone market.

Attendees can expect to get hands-on with the latest televisions, phones and smart technology.

IFA Berlin will be held over six days, beginning today and reaching its conclusion on Wednesday, 5 September.


Yesterday’s highlights

Could the mysterious £2bn Dyson electric car trouble Tesla?

Where to sleep, eat, drink and play if you’re heading to BlizzCon 2018

The department store of the future: Retail innovations customers are likely to see