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Sainsbury’s £1.4 billion takeover of Argos owner Home Retail Group has been approved by the competition regulator. The supermarket chain welcomed the decision by the Competition and Markets Authority on Friday to “unconditionally” clear the acquisition.

The (CMA) had said it was looking into whether the tie-up with Home Retail could result in a ”substantial lessening of competition”.

The approval comes after an eventful start to the year for Home Retail, which sold off its DIY chain Homebase to Australian conglomerate Wesfarmers for £340 million in February and agreed the takeover by Sainsbury’s a month later.

Argos posted its best sales performance for two years last month, with total sales rising 2.6% to £868 million, thanks to a surge in online sales.

Home Retail chief executive John Walden will leave the group once Sainsbury’s seals its acquisition, currently expected in the third quarter of this year.

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