UK: Competition Commission probe considers land banking
The early phase of the UK's Competition Commission investigation into the grocery sector has begun to examine the issue of supermarket's land-banking practices.
When the OFT referred the sector to the commission it highlighted this issue as a major barrier to competition. However, a CC spokesman told just-food today (30 May), the probe is not limited in scope by the OFT's referral.
"Land banks are one of the things we're asking about, but it is only one of a number of issues we will be considering" Rory Taylor of the OFT said. "We are required to look at any features of the grocery market that prevent or restrict competition. The supply chain, for instance, could well form part of the inquiry."
In the early stages of the probe, the CC has requested information from major supermarkets about current land interests, including those owned by a third party such as a property developer.
"As soon as an investigation is referred to us we send out things called first day letters. I believe that some of the questions we asked certainly the bigger supermarkets addressed the property issue," Taylor said.
The first major hurdle facing the Competition Commission, Taylor told just-food, is piecing the way that various competition concerns slot together. "We have to view each issue within the context of the sector as a whole," he said.
The ‘big four’ UK supermarkets, already the subject of a government review, are now facing calls for an ombudsman to be set up to police the grocery sector. However, despite regular calls that superma...
With the Competition Commission’s investigation into the UK’s GBP1.24bn (US$2.46bn) grocery sector reaching its halfway stage, the governmental watchdog has announced little that will worry the countr...
- 2017: three major drivers of M&A strategy
- The food market in 2017 - consumer trends and M&A
- just-food 2017 Survey - your thoughts on growth
- Food market in 2017: need-to-know US trends
- 2017 - what will shape the UK food sector?
- Premier Foods issues profit warning
- UK's Bakkavor plays down IPO "speculation"
- Ferrero insists Nutella not pulled from shelves
- Lindt sees FY sales acceleration on Europe growth
- Unilever sets packaging target