Tesco has won its appeal against the Competition Commission’s plans to introduce a new ‘competition test’ into the planing system.

The Competition Appeals Tribunal today concluded that the commission did “not fully and properly assess and take account of the risk that the application of the test might have adverse effects for consumers".

Tesco corporate and legal affairs director Lucy Neville-Rolfe hailed the verdict “a victory for common sense".

“A new test in the planning system would increase costs and make the process even slower and more bureaucratic,” she said. “It would be particularly perverse to introduce a test that would block investment in the current economic climate.”

However a commission spokesman defended its position.

“The judgment has not questioned our findings in the groceries report nor our proposed measures,” he said. “Specifically it has not challenged the rationale for a competition test to tackle local supermarkets monopolies or its design.”

The commission would study the judgement closely before deciding its next steps, he added.

A further hearing of the tribunal has been set for 16 March, when it is expected to outline what the commission must do if the test is to proceed.

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