Next Wednesday, the UK Competition Commission will hold its public hearing into the fight to buy the Safeway supermarket group.

A formal offer has been made by William Morrison, while bids are also thought to be forthcoming from Tesco, Wal-Mart’s Asda subsidiary and Sainsbury’s.

The meeting is expected to be attended by senior figures from the supermarkets keen to buy Safeway, as well as suppliers and consumer representatives, reports the Financial Times.