Asda owner Mohsin Issa has been asked to appear in front of MPs as they demand answers over its fuel pricing.
Issa has been requested to attend the Business and Trade Select Committee later this month to clarify statements made by Asda chief commercial officer Kris Comerford last week.
Issa and Asda have yet to confirm whether the supermarket owner will attend.
A Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) probe revealed this week that drivers buying fuel in supermarkets last year paid around 6p per litre more than they would have done otherwise as retailers opted to increase their margins.
The report found that both Asda and Morrisons had “each made the decision to target higher margins” while Sainsbury’s and Tesco “raised their prices in line with these changes”.
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Despite this, Comerford assured the Commons committee last week that its fuel pricing strategy had “not changed over many years”.
Issa told The Telegraph: “We have engaged fulsomely and openly with the Business and Trade Select Committee on grocery and fuel price inflation. We are disappointed to hear that the committee feels there are discrepancies in our evidence and have provided them with a detailed response to their letter requesting a further interview.
“On fuel, we remain resolute that our strategy is to offer the best value for customers at the pumps – something that the CMA’s fuel market study confirms we continue to be.
“Whilst we cannot answer questions about how the market operates as a whole, I am happy to use time that had been previously agreed for me to meet with [Business and Trade Select Committee chair] Mr Jones directly for an open discussion, where I will be happy to reaffirm our strategy and commitments.
“Asda is, and will remain, a consumer champion and a respectful employer of thousands of valued colleagues.”
The Issa brothers also own petrol station giant EG Group. They paired up with private equity firm TDR Capital to buy Asda in 2020 in a £6.8bn deal.
In response to the CMA findings, a spokesman for Asda pointed out that the CMA’s probe “recognised Asda as the price leader and confirmed the presence of an Asda petrol station in a local area keeps prices down for all motorists”.
He said:“Despite record inflation, we have carefully managed our business to ensure Asda was the cheapest traditional supermarket for both groceries and fuel throughout the period reviewed by the CMA, and this position is unchanged.”