Marks and Spencer (M&S) and Ocado have confirmed they are in discussions about a £1.8bn joint venture.

If the two companies reach agreement, it would give M&S a food delivery service for the first time.

Ocado is best known for delivering Waitrose goods, with whom it pioneered online grocery deliveries 20 years ago.

However, their latest arrangement, which prevents Ocado delivering any other retailer’s own branded goods, is due to come to end next year.

M&S has

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