Share prices for most of the multiples rose last week and the market is generally steady. Suggestions that stores would have to be closed to avoid anti-competitive behaviour and that a dual pricing systems would be enforced seem to have been laughed off. One analyst said most of the nerves before the announcement had been calmed. "It looks like the suggestions will be minor compared to some of the things in the progress report". One prediction about the report is that the DTI will be given powers to close stores in the event of further consolidation, he said ­ "which suggests that further consolidation will be allowed". The dual pricing suggestion ­ whereby supermarkets have to show both the buying and selling price ­ lacks credibility, said the analyst, "because most analysts will be aware of a similar initiative launched in France a year ago for fresh produce. It proved unworkable, because produce prices change so fast, and it was dropped after a month." "They just want to get the damn thing out of the way," said another. "There'll be a bit of window dressing, to help the hard pressed shopper who's been suffering under all this inflation for the past few years, but that's all." Another City analyst concurs: "I think most people expect it to be quite benign. "There was concern about it earlier in the year, but stocks are performing quite strongly now." Unless there's a "fast ball out of nowhere", he can't see the report affecting share prices. "And given they've already admitted that people on the whole are quite happy with their supermarkets, it's very difficult to see what they can do." {{NEWS }}