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Carl Collen


Retailers back UK competition test

Tesco's hopes of stopping a new test to measure the competition of retailers when considering planning permission in the UK could be hit by the news that rival retailers will argue in favour of the proposals

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The newly proposed retail competition test in the UK could get the backing of supermarket chains Asda and Waitrose when the case is heard by the Competition Appeals Tribunal (CAT) in November this year.

The Competition Commission is hoping to introduce the test to the UK market following a two-year inquiry into the grocery sector, during which it concluded that a retailer dominating one region was bad for consumers.

The proposal would see planners consider the number of retail chains in competition in one area before approving an application. The Competition Commission has suggested that any one retailer's market share of a local market should not exceed 60 per cent, and this would directly affect the application.

Tesco, one of the world's largest retailers, has already sought a judicial review to prevent the implementation of the competition test, claiming that it is an unfair measure of competition and that its introduction would create more barriers in the planning process.

However, the CAT has now granted Asda, Waitrose, Marks & Spencer and the Association of Convenience stores the opportunity to voice their opinions at the hearing, with Asda and Waitrose openly in favour of the competition test.

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