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    UK Delays Safeway Bid Report After Late Plea

    LONDON - Britain's Competition Commission said on Tuesday its report on who should be allowed to buy supermarket Safeway Plc would be delayed after one of the four parties made a last ditch attempt to stay in the race.

    LONDON - Britain's Competition Commission said on Tuesday its report on who should be allowed to buy supermarket Safeway Plc would be delayed after one of the four parties made a last ditch attempt to stay in the race.

    The Commission, which had been due to hand in its report to the Department of Trade and Industry on Tuesday, said it would now do so on Aug. 18 because one of the parties last week asked for a further meeting. It would not confirm whom.

    Tesco Plc, J Sainsbury Plc, Wal-Mart Stores Inc's Asda and Wm Morrison Supermarkets are all seeking clearance to bid for Safeway, but legal experts think all but Morrison will be blocked. They say the watchdog is likely preparing to take a hard line to protect consumers' interests.

    The report will remain confidential until the DTI gives its final verdict, which is expected next month.

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