26 March 1999
MMC to check out supermarkets

BRITAINS largest supermarkets face a wide-ranging investigation by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission (MMC).

The decision follows the nine-month inquiry by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) which found evidence suggesting the supermarkets are making excess profits.

The OFT inquiry was partly initiated by complaints from Welsh farmers who claimed the big retailers were failing to pass on low livestock prices to consumers.

The farmers said supermarket prices were far in excess of the money they received as suppliers.

John Bridgeman, director-general of the OFT, has told the supermarkets in a two-page letter that there are excess profits in the sector.

He also expresses concern about the relationships between supermarkets and their suppliers.

Mr Bridgemans letter gives the supermarkets until 1 April to reply to the OFT.

  • The Times 26/03/02/99 page 29, page 31 (Commentary)
  • Financial Times 26/03/99 page 1, page 12
  • The Guardian 26/03/99 page 12, page 13, page 23 (Notebook)
  • The Daily Telegraph 26/03/99 page 31