I propose to take Questions Nos. 173, 214 and 220 together.
I published the report of the Competition and Mergers Review Group on 4 May 2000. The group, which was chaired by Mr. Michael Collins SC has made some 40 recommendations on a variety of aspects of competition and mergers legislation, the enforcement of competition law, including the groceries order, and the administration of mergers law.
In relation to the groceries order, the majority of the review group recommended that: (i) the groceries order be repealed; (ii) any legislation or regulation introduced in relation to the grocery trade should not include a ban on below cost selling; and (iii) some form of regulation be introduced in relation to the grocery trade which would in particular require suppliers to publish the terms on which they are prepared to trade with retailers, would require retailers to honour the credit terms on which suppliers are prepared to trade with them, would ban "hello money", and would require retailers not to discriminate between classes of customers in respect of the products which they sell.