Competition watchdogs have spelt out their concerns about anotherUK supermarket taking control of rival Safeway in a 33-point letter.
The Competition Commission is examining whether any of theproposed deals to take over Safeway, owner of four stores in theBristol area, would create an excessively dominant supermarket groupwhich would damage shoppers and suppliers.
At the heart of the bids from Tesco, Sainsbury's, Wm Morrison andWalMart-owned Asda, are local and national competition issues, pricesand the impact of the potential mergers on suppliers.
But also included in the letter are issues as varied as whetherthe Commission should consider in its inquiry competition for nonfoodsales as well as groceries, Internet home shopping and the price ofpetrol.
The number of issues identified for further consideration by theCompetition Commission highlights the sheer complexity of thecompetition situation surrounding supermarkets.
The Commission inquiry is due to report its findings by August 12.