John Wood
The Competition Commission has named the members of the panel who will conduct the inquiry into the major multiples' bids for Safeway.
The panel will be chaired by Competition Commission chairman Sir Derek Morris, who also chaired the inquiry during 1999-2000 into the supermarket sector.
Other members of the panel will be: Paul Geroski, professor of economics at London Business School; Sarah Brown, former director of company law at the DTI; Diana Guy, a solicitor specialising in EU and competition law; former director general of energy at the DTI, Charles Henderson; and Peter Moizer, professor of accounting at Leeds University Business School.
The announcement of the membership of the inquiry panel followed shortly after the Office of Fair Trading published the full text of its advice to DTI secretary Patricia Hewitt, which recommended referral to the commission of the bids by Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury and Tesco, but cleared Philip Green to make a bid.
While referral of the three biggest multiples was expected, the referral of Morrisons on local competition grounds surprised many in the industry.
In its detailed report the OFT said there could be overlap between Morrisons and Safeway stores in more than 70 areas.
However, Morrisons argued that in many of these cases there would be sufficient competition for the other multiples to reduce any concerns about local competition.

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