The Competition Commission has signalled that Tesco’s ownership of large swathes of land for the development of future supermarkets could be used to anti-competitive effect. Financial Times

In working papers published yesterday, the market watchdog, which is due to deliver preliminary findings of a wide-ranging review of the grocery market in September, criticised the UK’s leading supermarket chain for providing ‘misleading and incorrect’ evidence on its land banks.

The commission added that Tesco, unlike ASDA and Sainsbury’s, displayed ‘a pattern of behaviour . . . consistent with the strategic holding of land to prevent entry (of competitors) into areas of strength’.

Tesco is thought to own at least half of the land that supermarkets are stockpiling in the UK.