Tesco safeguards expansion plans

Tesco has appealed against the introduction of a competition test that could halt its expansion plans. The move could delay the introduction of regulations until 2010.

The Competition Commission’s final report on the grocery sector recommended a competition test, which aims to stop one retailer having a dominant position in an area by opening larger stores and to safeguard consumer choice.

Tesco’s appeal means that the Government may have to wait until October 1, 2009 to implement the regulations, rather than April 2009 as requested by the Commission.

The retailer denies that the appeal is a “stalling tactic,” and says that the competition test is an unsatisfactory response to the level of problems identified in the report, considering the competitive nature of the market.

Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Asda and the Association of Convenience Stores plan to attend the Competition Appeals Tribunal on Tuesday to support the Commission.

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