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Supermarkets: Alcoholic Drinks

Volume 468: debated on Monday 26 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assessment he has made of the effect on fair competition of supermarkets selling alcohol at cost price. (168116)

Ensuring markets operate freely and fairly is a matter for the independent competition authorities, rather than for Government.

In its preliminary findings from its inquiry into the UK groceries market the Competition Commission (CC) said

"below cost selling by national retailers is not part of a predatory strategy aimed at convenience stores or specialist stores and is not having significant unintended effects on smaller stores".

Appendix 5.6 of the provisional findings covered below-cost selling and as part of the assessment, looked specifically at the extent of below-cost selling of alcohol during the football World Cup in 2006. This assessment is located at

Parties have until 30 November to submit comments on the CC's provisional findings and possible remedies. The CC is due to publish its final report by May 2008.