Pressure on to widen grocery sector probe

The conservative Party has caught wind of rumours that the Office of Fair Trading is planning another investigation into big four supermarkets, and is applying pressure to make sure it is a full enquiry.

So far, it has only been reported that the OFT's efforts will be restricted to the supermarkets' property holdings and the operation of their planning regimes.

The OFT referred the grocery trade to the Competition Commission last March after uncovering evidence of below-cost selling, the growing influence of the supermarkets over their supply chain, and the amount of undeveloped land held by supermarkets - all of which are potential barriers to competition.

Meanwhile, Tesco is reportedly squeezing suppliers for more price cuts, allegedly telling suppliers that if they give in to Asda demands for lower prices, it will also seek additional savings.