Competition & Markets Authority
CMA demands action after Tesco blocks rival supermarkets
The CMA is calling on major supermarkets to act after finding Tesco has been unlawfully stopping rivals from opening shops near its stores.
Tesco has now committed to put an end to these anti-competitive restrictions, after the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) intervened.
The CMA first discovered that Tesco had been preventing landlords from letting property to other supermarkets during monitoring in 2018. This may have reduced competition and so lowered choice which leaves shoppers worse off, and is unlawful under the Groceries Market Investigation (Controlled Land) Order 2010.
After this initial discovery by the CMA, Tesco reviewed all of its land agreements, finding 23 breaches in total.
Tesco has now agreed to take remedial action for all affected land agreements; improve its internal processes and staff training to avoid future breaches and ensure that all new land agreements are in line with the Order. The CMA will monitor Tesco’s progress and may take formal enforcement action if further breaches are found.
The CMA is also writing to all other supermarkets bound by the Order (Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, M&S and the Co-op), asking them to show that their land agreements are not in breach. If any supermarket is not compliant, the CMA will consider taking enforcement action.
Andrea Gomes da Silva, Executive Director, Markets and Mergers at the CMA said:
It’s unacceptable that Tesco had these unlawful restrictions in place for up to a decade. By making it harder for other supermarkets to open stores next to its branches, shoppers could have lost out.
In the future, we want the ability to fine businesses if we find that they are in breach of our orders. That’s why we’ve called on the Government for more powers.
Further information, including a full list of the locations of land agreements that were in breach, is available on the CMA’s website
- The Groceries Market Investigation (Controlled Land) Order 2010 banned new restrictive clauses (covenants which prohibit a piece of land from being used for a supermarket) when it came into force in 2010. Tesco had introduced three of these since the Order came into force.
- The Order also banned Exclusivity Arrangements (which prevent landlords from allowing competing convenience stores in the same block as an existing convenience store) which were over 5 years long. Tesco had 20 of these in place which were over 5 years.
Latest News from
Competition & Markets Authority
CMA acts to protect competition on UK-US airline routes18/09/2020 09:20:00
Due to coronavirus, the CMA has imposed measures to protect competition on UK-US air routes while it investigates an agreement involving BA and American Airlines.
Motorcycle insurance broker merger raises competition concerns17/09/2020 09:20:00
The CMA has found that Ardonagh’s completed purchase of Bennetts could lead to higher prices, less choice and worse services for motorcyclists in the UK.
TUI UK to complete refunds by the end of the month16/09/2020 12:25:00
TUI UK has committed to the CMA that customers awaiting their refunds for holidays that were cancelled due to coronavirus will receive them by the end of the month.
Final decision published in window blind merger inquiry15/09/2020 09:20:00
The CMA has decided that Hunter Douglas, owner of online blinds retailer Blinds2Go, must sell the majority of its shares in 247 to protect competition and prevent higher prices.
Digital advertising merger to be abandoned during CMA investigation14/09/2020 13:25:00
Taboola has announced that it is to abandon its proposed purchase of Outbrain.
CMA updates competition law risk guide for managers11/09/2020 09:20:00
An updated guide to competition rules has been issued to help managers, directors and their advisers to stay on the right side of the law.
CMA to assess progress in legal services sector10/09/2020 09:20:00
The CMA is reviewing the legal services sector in England and Wales to assess whether transparency of price, quality and service have improved.
Reseller GAK fined for illegally agreeing not to discount online09/09/2020 14:15:00
Lessons from the CMA’s investigation into GAK and Yamaha's use of illegal resale price maintenance (RPM).