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UK supermarkets refuse calls for ombudsman

The UK supermarket sector could be in for a serious shakeup in the short to medium term after news that the big four, Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons, all rejected calls from the competition commission to set up an ombudsman to monitor the relationship between retailers and retail supplies. The call for the creation of an ombudsman came after a two-year investigation into the industry which is alleged to have found evidence of costs being transferred to suppliers and issues about the treatment of those in the supply chain.

While the competition commission does not have the legal right to create an ombudsman, the UK government is set to step in with the threat of fines and further investigations into the industry. This has been a long-running saga in the UK, as UK supermarkets become stronger and stronger and expanded their tentacles into each and every area of the UK retail market. However it is the treatment of UK suppliers which has attracted most controversy with accusations that profitability is being cut to the bone and the desperation of those in the supermarket supply chain is being exploited.

Will the UK government dare call the bluff of the supermarkets or will they find some middle ground and agree new arrangements for the future?

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