The Office of Fair Trading has announced that the regulation of
dealings between supermarkets and suppliers does not need to be
tightened. The report follows complaints by groups, such as farmers and
small businesses, that the big four of ASDA, Tesco, Sainsbury's and
Morrisons are treating suppliers unfairly. The groups argue that the
Supermarkets Code of Practice, controlling supermarket-supplier
transactions, is failing to protect sellers adequately and also that
this is being breached by the supermarkets. The OFT report defends the
Code of Practice and stresses that no clear evidence has been provided
to suggest that competition in the market is being distorted. Supplier
groups have expressed their dismay at the OFT's findings and want a
temporary suspension on future takeovers until further inquiries take
place. This has however been rejected by the OFT which emphasises the
value of the Code of Practice and maintains that "competition and
straight dealing are the keys to the market working well for the
consumers."

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