Research claims supermarket monopolies are virtually impossible

It is “virtually impossible” for one supermarket chain to form a monopoly, according to new research by Verdict Consulting. It comes the day before the Competition Commission is expected to announce plans that could restrict further expansion of major supermarkets.

The research found that Tesco, Sainsbury, Asda and Morrisons share over eight out of ten of their regular customers with other food stores and that customer choice has not been diluted by leading supermarkets.

The report also says: “Far from lessening competition between players, the outlook for the next five years is a strengthening of competitive dynamics as retailers increasingly battle to secure their share of consumer spend.”

The inquiry has pitted Tesco, the market leader, against rival supermarkets and campaign groups, who have accused it of using its market power to stifle competition.

The commission said in July that Tesco showed “a pattern of behaviour…consistent with the strategic holding of land to prevent entry (of competitors) into areas of strength”.

Tesco argues that it has built new stores in deprived areas, which has led to regeneration.

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