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    INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    British Office of Fair Trading pressured to block Sainsbury deal.

    LONDON -- Members of the British Parliament are being urged to put pressure on the British Office of Fair Trading to consider blocking the acquisition of Jacksons Stores, the 114-strong convenience chain, by Sainsbury, the supermarket group.

    David Rae, the chief executive of the Association of Convenience Stores, which represents 30,000 small shops, has written to the 46 parliament members who have Jacksons outlets in their constituencies, voicing "extreme concern" about the effects that Sainsbury's acquisition will have on local competition.

    Members to receive the letter include John Prescott, the deputy prime minister, and Patricia Hewitt, the trade secretary.

    Rae said he is concerned that the "massive buying power" of multiple retailers undermines local diversity and makes it extremely difficult for smaller retailers to compete. He is calling for a full review of the grocery sector and has asked the parliament members to highlight to the OFT the negative impact that the Jacksons acquisition could have on competition in the grocery market in their constituencies.

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