Supermarkets must wait longer for inquiry findings

11 April 2007
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12 April 2007 | Antony Barton

The Competition Commission has announced its supermarket investigation will take longer to complete than expected.

Provisional findings were due to be published next month but will not be ready until September, with the final report due for release next February.

The Office of Fair Trading referred the supermarket industry to the commission after it received evidence that purchasing and pricing regimes were distorting competition (Web news, 16 May 2006).

A spokesman for the commission said there was no single factor in the delay "other than to ensure a fair and thorough process and allow parties enough time to respond to all the evidence and analysis" that it was continuing to gather.

He added that it would be wrong to abide by a timetable at the expense of conducting the work fairly and many parties had already urged it to take longer.

The commission also published four working papers this week, covering the local planning authority survey; the competitive effects of own label goods; the impact of new store entry on incumbent stores; and store margin analysis.

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