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Sainsbury CEO Justin King told The Guardian in an interview that the government needs to make changes in its planning laws because rival Tesco has managed to accumulate so many development sites that it soon will achieve a 40 percent market share.

Tesco reportedly has acquired 185 sites, more than any other chain in the UK. King estimates that the number of sites will allow Tesco to expand at 12 times the rate of any other retailer.

"Clearly this is a competitive market, that acts in the consumer's best interest,” King told the paper. “I am a free marketeer by nature . . . but we do not have access to a key resource - property. I hate the level playing field thing: competition is not a level playing field. But if you have someone with a significant size advantage and a bit of land comes up, then they will get it. . . We want fair and equal access."
KC's View:
Didn’t they have equal access? Didn’t local planning and zoning boards have a chance to review Tesco’s proposals? Didn’t Tesco just move faster, more efficiently and more effectively than anyone else?

We sympathize. After all, it was Tesco’s aggressive pursuit of real estate in Ireland that led the Quinn family to sell Superquinn…thus ending the clan’s reign as the sole owners of one of the world’s great food retailers.

But it is hard to condemn Tesco for being better than everyone else.