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Public Houses: Competition

Volume 476: debated on Monday 2 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will bring forward proposals for legislation to remove ties from leased public houses tied to brewers owning more than 500 pubs; if he will (a) commission an investigation into the supply tie and (b) refer the matter of the supply tie and rent formulation to the Competition Commission; and if he will make a statement. (206879)

Ensuring that markets operate freely and fairly is a matter for the independent competition authorities, rather than for the Government. The UK competition framework has established the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) as an independent statutory body which is responsible for ensuring that markets operate competitively, and it has the powers to investigate and take action if companies are abusing a dominant position in a market or behaving anti-competitively.