Clamp-down on super market powers?
THE Competition Commission, which investigates business practices judged to be again the interests of ordinary consumers, is said to on the verge of taking tough action against the four big supermarket chains, Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's and Bradford-based Morrison's.
The commission is said to be considering the appointment of a superstore Ombudsman to investigate complaints that have been growing for several years - but which, so far, have seen little action.
One of the strongest allegations if that the chains are forcing farmers and market gardeners into bankruptcy by paying them pitiful rates for their produce - and clamping down with a "reign of terror" on suppliers who dare complain.
Another complaint comes from planners and builders, who claim that the supermarket chains are sitting on large "land banks" to prevent rivals buying plots.
This is of growing concern to local authorities, particularly in country market towns, which are under pressure to provide more housing - but cannot find the necessary land.