The long-awaited release of the Competition Commission's provisional findings of its groceries market inquiry has prompted a flurry of opinion in the media.

The Competition Commission provisionally concluded yesterday that the UK groceries market was delivering a good deal for consumers but action was needed to improve competition in a number of local markets and to address relationships between retailers and their suppliers.

The Financial Times reported that shares in Tesco hit an all-time high of 488p after investors breathed a sigh of relief that the supermarket giant, which has a 31% share of the grocery market, had escaped largely unscathed from the findings.

Writing in The Times, business editor James Harding, welcomed the findings: “Peter Freeman, the Competition Commission chairman, has avoided populist politics and cheap headlines to steer a sensible path,” he wrote. “He has not succumbed to heckling from the small business lobby, rejecting the notion that independent, local stores have been hampered by the supermarkets growth.”

And the Independent's Jeremy Warned questioned whether the investigation was “not just another monumental waste of money”.

“This is the third Competition Commission investigation of the supermarkets sector in seven years and all of them have broadly ended up clearing the industry of “rip-off” practices.”

But, Andrew Simms, policy director of the New Economics Foundation, slammed the report as defying “both common sense and its own mandate”.

“Charged with investigating how to break the big four's stranglehold on British retailing, the commission appears to have concluded that the stranglehold should be tightened,” he wrote in the Guardian.

“We are almost left to surmise that when Tesco dropped its reported 10,000 pages of evidence on their heads, the commission's members lost both their minds and the plot.”