Morrisons has called on the Competition Commission's groceries inquiry team to ensure it has a "legal basis" for any remedies it recommends in its final report, which is due to be unveiled next month.

Responding to the commission's provisional findings, which were published in October, Morrisons said that, under the terms of the Enterprise Act 2002, the commission was bound to ensure any measures were clearly linked to solid evidence of adverse effects on competition.

It also cited existing case law, which states that the commission must "identify with conspicuous clarity the adverse effects on competition which underline its proposed remedies".

Morrisons went on to question whether the commission had uncovered sufficient evidence to justify some of its key proposals.

It disagreed with the commission's view that weak competition in local markets adversely influenced the offer of retailers. "Morrisons considers that the commission's conclusions on the adverse effects on competition caused by local concentration are not only based upon speculation, but are actually contrary to the relevant factual evidence gathered by the commission," it said.

The retailer also came out strongly against the forced divestment of land holdings and the prohibition of restrictive covenants and exclusively agreements. "There should be no automatic prohibition on grocery retailers controlling land," it added.

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