(Nov. 4) Billionaire Philip Green dropped a bid in late October to purchase Safeway PLC, Great Britain’s No. 4-ranked supermarket chain.

The move clears the way for a bid by William Morrison Supermarkets PLC, the country’s fifth-largest chain, according to a BBC news report.

Morrison made a $4.3 billion buyout offer for Safeway in January, but that bid has expired.

By the end of November, negotiations with the Office of Fair Trading are expected to be complete. Morrison will then be given 21 days to make another offer, according to the report.

Green cited roadblocks set in place by the Competitive Commission as reasons for his decision to pull out of the running, according to a RetailWire report. The entrepreneur owns the Top Shop fashion chain and Bhs department stores.

Trade and Industry regulators in Britain previously blocked the country’s three largest supermarket chains from making buyout bids on Safeway

Morrison on Sept. 26 beat out Tesco PLC, Britain's No. 1 chain; J. Sainsbury, the No. 2 chain; and Wal-Mart’s Asda Group PLC, the No. 3 chain.

Government officials cited concerns that grocery prices might increase if one of the three largest chains was to take control of Safeway property, according to reports.