Tesco To Appeal Against Competition Test

Tesco has launched a legal challenge against one of the proposals recommended by the findings of the Competition Commission, following its two-year investigation into Britain’s £120 billion grocery sector.
The UK’s largest retailer today confirmed it would be contesting the commission’s introduction of a new “competition test”, which would be applied to planning decisions on large stores and include action to prevent land agreements restricting competitors from entering the market .
The Competition Commission announced the proposals in April in an attempt to improve choice for shoppers in areas dominated by one supermaket chain.
However, Tesco has argued that the new planning legislation is flawed as it does not address the adverse effect on competition identified by the commission .
Lucy Neville-Rolfe, Tesco’s corporate and legal affairs director, said: “We are appealing on just one aspect of the final report and remedies.”
“The competition test would not address the planning barrier identified. Perversely, it would introduce another barrier into the planning process.”
“The bureaucracy involved would increase delays and costs – and could even jeopardise long term regeneration schemes – at a time when Tesco is working hard to keep prices low for customers.
She added: “Planning decisions should be taken by local people who understand what their community needs, and it is a matter of principle to Tesco that customers, not regulators, should decide where we shop .”
Tesco’s move will delay the implementation of the test until the end of the year, at least, and force a high-profile public hearing later this autumn.

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