Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said he will refer the investigation into pubco power to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) if the the evidence is strong enough.
The Prime Minister has also agreed to meet the anti-tie Fair Pint campaigners at 10 Downing Street at a later date.
Brown responded to a question at the National GMB conference in Blackpool on whether he would follow the Business and Enterprise Committee's recommendations for a full Competition Commission inquiry into the beer tie and tied pubco model.
He replied if the evidence was strong enough, it would be referred to the OFT. It is now clear that the OFT has to look at the issue before a full Competition Commission inquiry can be held.
The OFT would act as a first pair of eyes on the report and then decide to whether to refer it to the Competition Commission, recommend self regulation or recommend the Government to regulate.
The OFT would have 90 days to respond if and when the Campaign for Real Ale lodges a super complaint.
It is understood that Fair Pint met with Brown's advisors for around 20 minutes earlier today and briefly with the PM himself.
The MA exclusively revealed that the anti-beer tie campaigners were set to meet Brown at the conference earlier this month.
How we revealed PM's interest...