The Office of Fair Trading will deliver it decision on whether to refer the grocery sector to the Competition Commission by April next year.

Speaking at the All Party Parliamentary Small Shops Group hearing yesterday, John Fingleton, chief executive of the OFT, said that the OFT would send out information requests to supermarkets by early next month.

He added that the OFT would expect to receive responses by January, analyse the findings and publish a consultation by March and then make its decision in April.