Speaking shortly before the announcement of the Competition Commission’s final report, David Greene said it had been a disappointing inquiry from the independent sector’s point of view.
Greene, a partner with Edwin Coe Solicitors, lead the team that successfully challenged the OFT in its refusal to refer the grocery trading market to the Competition Commission, and continues to work for the ACS.
He said supermarket dominance of markets was not only in the UK, with independent associations as far away as Australia complaining that competition authorities in their countries were doing nothing while supermarket group continued to increase their share of the market.
Greene said the underlying theme of the legislation that regulated competition in the UK was to look for consumer or customer detriment, and this tended to mean that the prices they were paying for goods became a prime issue.
However, a monopoly can be a very efficient way to provide a product or service, and can help to keep prices low, so the legislation as it stands does not see diversity or choice as important as long as the prices consumers are paying are kept low.