Competition Commission finally gets tough.
Peter Freeman, the commission's chairman, has already pushed back the publication of the anti-trust body's provisional findings from next month to September due to the volume of work involved. This latest move highlights just how sensitive the issues surrounding retailer-supplier relations are. The commission sent legally binding Section 109 letters to a "small number" of trade bodies last week, a spokesman confirmed. Under the Enterprise Act, the letters require the organisations to submit information they have regarding their members' relationship with retailers. "This is not something we do lightly. But it gets to a point when you believe that there is relevant information that you haven't been able to get. The information we are after relates to a full range of supplier issues," said the spokesman.
The Food & Drink Federation is believed to be among the bodies that have received the letters. However, the National Farmers' Union is not.