UK: Small Businesses Brand competition commission report as "extremely disappointing"
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said the recommendations resulting from the Competition Commission's report into supermarkets were "extremely disappointing."The Government accepted the Commission's report, but the FSB said the Commission's recommendations let the supermarkets off the hook.In particular, the FSB regretted that even though the report acknowledged the detrimental effect below cost pricing had on small retailers, the Commission did not recommend any action to make the practice illegal, as in France.The FSB said the report also failed to give heart to small food producers and suppliers. On the practice of shelf space being allocated in return for suppliers paying high premiums, the FSB said it had hoped that the Commission would recommend supermarkets allocate a proportion of shelf space to local producers.The FSB welcomed the recommendation that supermarkets abide by a voluntary code of practice - but said this must have teeth and the Government should monitor behaviour to ensure supermarkets abided by the code. The recommendation to force supermarkets to gain clearance from the Office of Fair Trading before building new stores was also welcomed, but the FSB said it had looked for recommendations to tighten actual planning guidance.Overall, the report was extremely disappointing, the FSB said.
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