It was only last June that the Dutch and Belgian supermarket giants decided to join forces in what has been described as a takeover by the Dutch holding company Ahold of Belgium's smaller Delhaize.
Belgium's competition authority has identified issues in several Flemish regions where the link-up would result in a lack of competition. The new company will have to sell several stores to prevent it gaining a too dominant market position in some areas. Trade union sources have identified eight stores that will have to be sold and not closed. The stores represent a workforce of 400. Delhaize has been keen to play down the number of stores. The competition authority is to provide more details on 14 March.