Big supermarkets have their wrists slapped

UK supermarkets have been exposed as price fixing over a a range of dairy goods.

Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco were among nine supermarkets and dairy processors today fined almost £50 million for fixing cheese and milk prices over seven years ago.

According to an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) four supermarkets, Asda, Safeway, Sainsbury’s and Tesco, indirectly co-ordinated increases in cheese and milk prices through five dairy processors, Arla, Dairy Crest, McLelland, The Cheese Company and Wiseman.

Tesco was the only retailer to not receive a reduction in its fine for agreeing to early resolution and was fined £10.43 million for colluding with companies to fix cheese prices in 2002 and 2003. Sainsbury’s was dealt the largest fine of £11.04 million for fixing both cheese and milk prices.

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In total eight companies were fined £49.51million, while Arla benefited from compete immunity for being the first company to alert the OFT to the anti-competitive behaviour.