After spending almost two years investigating the grocery sector, the Competition Commission published its latest report on February 15. This is an interim report, ahead of its final report which is due before May. Supermarkets and other interested parties will be lobbying hard between now and then.
The Commission had earlier noted a climate of fear between suppliers and retailers, but whether its proposal to introduce an ombudsman to control the power of the supermarkets will solve the problem is in some doubt.
The Commission’s other main proposal is to make it easier for smaller supermarkets to set up in areas already controlled by another major retailer - in practice, mainly Tesco.
Tesco was said to be unhappy with aspects of the report, but its smaller rivals broadly welcomed it.