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British lawmakers to question Sainsbury's and Asda CEOs over deal

LONDON, June 13 (Reuters) - A British parliamentary committee will question the CEOs of the UK's no.2 supermarket Sainsbury's and its third-biggest supermarket Asda ahead of their proposed combination, as scrutiny of the deal cranks up.

Sainsbury's announced a 7.3 billion pound ($9.77 billion) deal to buy U.S. group Walmart's Asda in April. If it goes ahead, the combined giant will overtake Tesco as Britain's biggest supermarket group.

The competition regulator has started a preliminary probe into the deal ahead of a formal investigation, while on Wednesday lawmakers from the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee said that they would also gather evidence on it.

"Grocery retailers do not have a great record of treating their suppliers well," the committee's chair Neil Parish said in a statement.

"My committee is holding this session to investigate how the biggest potential shake-up of the grocery market in recent years could affect British farmers and suppliers, as well as consumers."

The cross-party group will question Sainsbury's Mike Coupe and Asda's Roger Burnley on June 20. (Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by Stephen Addison)