Delays by the major supermarket chains in submitting written evidence could put back the date for the eventual publication of the far reaching probe into the industry by the Competition Commission. The Commission refused to name the culprits but said the delays had put back the initial stages of its report. The next two or three weeks will prove to be make or break time as the industry waits to find out the extent of the investigation. A statement of issues is due to be published at the latest by the first week in February, said the Commission. It will set out the scope and remit for its inquiries. A Commission spokeswomen stressed: "It is not a charge sheet, nor will it show the priorities of the areas in which we are looking. It will merely list the areas where we feel there is cause for further investigation." Closed hearings will be held with the major supermarket groups in March, but there is no guarantee a full report will be published by the end of April. "Only when we know the depths of our investigation will we know whether we will need an extension," said the spokewoman. {{NEWS }}