Tesco has been accused of stalling for time after beginning an appeal which is likely to delay the implementation of the Competition Commission’s (CC) recommendations for the grocery market.

The supermarket giant's appeal against the proposed competition test, which aims to prevent one retailer gaining a dominant position in a local area, was described by Assocation of Convenience Store's (ACS) public affairs director Shane Brennan as "delaying tactics". ACS appeared in support of the Commission alongside Marks & Spencer, Asda and Waitrose at a Competition Appeals Tribunal appeal hearing this week.

The appeal procedure is likely to see implementation of the test delayed for up to 12 months. Should Tesco win, the CC would have to revise and resubmit its recommendations on the planning competition test.

"The more likely outcome is that Tesco's appeal will not succeed and the process will simply push back implementation of the test, possibly into 2010," said Brennan.

ACS has also written to MPs calling for parliamentary scrutiny of the "delays and prevarication" surrounding another of the CC recommendations. Chief executive James Lowman said: "A new Ombudsman is vital to creating a sustainable and diverse market that delivers for consumers. Government has failed to take a lead in this process and as such has allowed uncertainty and delay to undermine the chance for a fairer and more diverse market to be created.

"Some of the supermarket companies have sought to convince government, the media and politicians that the Ombudsman will limit their ability to keep food prices low for consumers. This is not true and is a cynical exploitation of consumer fears."