The Competition Commission report into the selling of cheap alcohol has ruled that supermarkets can continue selling at below cost. The news comes as no surprise as the Competition Commission had indicated as much when it released its initial findings into discounting last year. It stated that it was restricted by statute into looking further into whether deep discounting of alcohol should be allowed. The decision follows reports that major drinks brands could be at the centre of an investigation into alleged supermarket price fixing. According to reports brands like Carlsberg, London Pride, Bulmers Cider and Harvey's Bristol Cream feature on a list being investigated by the Office of Fair Trading. Any hope of halting the lowering supermarket costs now lies with a Government inquiry into alcohol pricing and promotions that will be published later this year. It considered it a health and not a competition issue. Competition Commission chairman Peter Freeman said: "In many important respects, consumers are receiving the benefits of competition, such as value, choice, innovation and convenience, but we need to take appropriate action to address those areas where they could be served better and where their interests could be damaged in future." But brewers may yet benefit from the Competition Commission's report on supermarket power. A new supermarket ombudsman is being set up to oversee a stronger code of practice that will cover all grocery retailers with a turnover greater than £1bn. The independent regulator will have the power to fine Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons for squeezing brewers and other suppliers on price and charging them for shelf space. But yesterday the Association of Convenience Stores – who sparked the inquiry with their Office of Fair Trading complaint in 2004 – said the commission had not gone far enough with its findings and added: "It's a massive missed opportunity. "It has failed to go far enough."