It has been a well-reported fact that the Office of Fair Trading has come to the conclusion, ultimately, that the UK grocery market should indeed be subjected to an in-depth scrutiny by the Competition Commission (CC). The announcement was made in the beginning of May and was an expected move, following statements made by the regulator, as reported in last month's e-bulletin. It was last autumn that the Competition Appeal Tribunal quashed the OFT's decision not to make a reference to the Competition Commission and remitted the matter back to the watchdog for further consideration. The CC has now been given a wide remit to scrutinize all aspects of the market. Apart from the issue of buyer power on the behalf of the big supermarkets, practices in relation to land holdings and restrictive covenants will also be examined. The CC has two years to produce a report.
Competition Commission Charged with Supermarket Sweep