The OFT decided in March it would refer the entire grocery market to the Competition Commission for investigation.
Funny that, when it had maintained for months there was nothing amiss with the supermarkets' dominance. "You wouldn't want to award the winner of a race with an electric shock, and similarly you wouldn't want to punish companies with superior foresight," the OFT's chief executive John Fingleton had told The Grocer in December 2005.
Less than three months later Fingleton decided there was enough evidence that the supermarkets were involved in anti-competitive practices, particularly regarding planning issues, to act.
"One of the things we have concluded is it is difficult for new operators to enter the market and any planning system that rewards inefficient entrance is inherently suspect," he said.
The Commission is keen to do a thorough job, and quickly. Perhaps aware there will be pressure to find against the supermarkets to a greater degree than it did in 2000, when its investigation resulted in the voluntary code of practice, which many claim made no difference at all, it's wasting no time in gathering evidence.
Already the big supermarkets have submitted their statements, data is being amassed from the independent sector and suppliers have been forced to comply despite their reservations. A conclusion is expected by November next year.
Let's hope it's the right one.