What the papers say: Tesco shrugs off OFT's criticisms

Tesco stood up well against the onslaught of reports on the Office of Fair Trading’s likely referral of UK supermarkets to the Competition Commission.

As market leader, Tesco was the most targeted player in the grocery arena.  While The Sun reported 'the OFT does appear to have Tesco in its sights' (10 March), others left doubt on the firm's position.

'Tesco under siege...' headlined Brand Republic (10 March).

Tesco appeared unruffled by the exposure, responding with a clear message from a single source: 'The development of the UK grocery market has been good news for consumers' (Lucy Neville-Rolfe, The Times, 10 March).

The OFT did not disagree, highlighting the rise of product choice, quality and price reductions. But focusing on land banks (areas bought up for future development), prescriptive covenants and planning regulations, 'the evidence provides grounds to suspect the Big Four are engaging in strategic behaviour, with the intention of restricting competition' (OFT, The Guardian, 10 March).

Tesco, however, remained 'confident' that the regulators would find that their concerns 'are misplaced' (Reuters, 9 March).

Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow


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