§ Mr. Coombs
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will refer to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission the question of the impact of recent and proposed mergers and acquisitions on competition in the United Kingdom retail sector; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Howard
It is the role of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission to investigate specific merger proposals referred to it by my right hon. Friend for investigation. The commission has no locus to examine the question of the impact on competition of mergers and acquisitions in a sector of the economy, unless it considers the question to be relevant in the circumstances of a particular case under investigation.