Supermarkets referred to Competition Commission
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has decided to refer the supermarkets to the Competition Commission for a new inquiry.
They have finally accepted that the growing dominance of the big supermarkets may not be good for consumers, communities or the environment.
In November 2004 we asked for a Market Review of the supermarket sector - based on social, environmental and economic grounds. The OFT said no last August - but were forced to re-consider after a legal challenge - and they have now agreed with several of our key points.
But the OFT is misguided in its focus on low prices and relaxation of the planning system.
Friends of the Earth are particularly worried at their suggestion that the planning system needs to be weakened.
This would allow more out-of-town supermarkets to be built - reversing 10 years of Government policy aimed at revitalising town centres and reducing car-based travel.
It is essential that the Competition Commission does not allow this to happen. Instead it must focus on solutions to encourage diversity in our high streets and to protect farmers from supermarket bullying.