Morrisons quiet over price fix strike-back

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Oft, Tesco, Asda

UK-retailer Morrisons has refused to confirm that it is seeking a
judicial review of an ongoing investigation by the UK's Office of
Fair Trading (OFT) into allegations of milk price fixing.

In September, the OFT named Morrisons as one of a number of companies that had allegedly cheated consumers out of £270m (€389m) by colluding to increase prices for dairy products. Morrisons stringently denied all allegations against it, with the OFT later clarifying that Safeway's alleged participation in the scandal occurred: "prior to its takeover by Morrisons."​ However, earlier this week, UK newspaper The Financial Times reported that Morrisons was moving to sue the OFT for libel over allegations that the competition commission had incorrectly linked it to involvement in the price fixing. A spokesperson for the company told that Morrison's did not wish to comment on the report, adding that any potential court issue remained a sensitive area. With the OFT investigation yet to be concluded, a possible fight back from the retailer could disrupt the completion of the competition commission's findings. In December, the OFT said it has entered early resolution talks with Asda, Dairy Crest, Sainsbury's, The Cheese Company and Robert Wiseman Dairies over their involvement in sharing sensitive milk price information. The companies all accepted responsibility in the investigation as part of the talks, leading to a combined total fines amounting to £116m (€161m).

Related topics: Markets, Pricing Pressures

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