The Competition Commission has completed its first round of face-to-face hearings into the groceries market with a trip to Northern Ireland.
The inquiry team met Bryan Gray, chief executive of the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Association, which represents many of the convenience retailers in the province. It also held meetings with the Ulster Farmers' Union and the Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association, which looks after suppliers' interests.
The Commission has begun examining the written evidence it has received. It remains committed to its timetable of December for publishing its 'emerging thinking', although industry sources believe January is more likely.