Asda Helping With Price Fixing Inquiry

UK - Asda is co-operating with the Office of Fair Trading as its long-running investigation into the price fixing of milk, cheese and butter draws to a close.
calendar icon 14 November 2007
clock icon 1 minute read
John Fingleton has taken on a number of high profile cases since he was appointed chief executive of the OFT in late 2005

It is understood that in return for its co-operation Asda could receive a significant reduction in any possible fine, which analysts believe could amount to hundreds of millions of pounds.

The OFT announced in September that it believed that Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury's and Safeway (which is now owned by Wm Morrison) had engaged in price fixing alongside five processors Arla, Dairy Crest, Lactalis McLelland, the Cheese Company and Wiseman.

"This is a very serious case. We believe that supermarkets have been colluding to put up the price of dairy products," Sean Williams, executive director of the OFT said at the time. The OFT claimed that the collusion had cost consumers £270m.

On the same day as the competition regulator made its provisional findings public Sonya Branch, senior director at the OFT, wrote to the supermarkets and processors involved in the inquiry warning that any eventual fine had to have "sufficient deterrent effect". 


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