The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has criticised the Competition Commission’s initial report on the grocery market.Small companies are suffering from supermarket competition, says the FSB, the UK’s largest business organisation. It also reported that many suppliers and businesses are afraid to speak out against supermarkets, as they risk losing essential trade.FSB trade and industry chairman Clive Davenport explained the worries of SMEs, telling the commission: "We have serious concerns about reports of blatant abuses of the planning system by supermarkets, which the competition commission has failed to address in numerous inquiries in the past."Independent retailers cannot compete for goods if supermarkets sell them to the public at lower prices than independent retailers can buy from wholesalers. This is unfair competition and should be stopped," he continued.In its emergence thinking document, the competition commission pledged to take its investigation to local level. The commission’s inquiry group chairman, Peter Freeman, said that they would investigate supermarkets’ influence on the local economy."Our principal concern now is to focus on competition between retailers at the local level, where it most matters to consumers, as this is where many of the potential concerns we have would be evident."We are concerned with whether Tesco, or any other supermarket, can get into such a strong position, either nationally or locally, that no other retailer can compete effectively," he concluded.© Adfero Ltd

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