Public Law

OFT Fines Supermarket Giants Following Investigation into Price Fixing

Yesterday, following its investigation into the retail pricing of dairy products, the OFT issued a decision imposing fines of £49.5 million on four supermarkets and five dairy processors. The companies, including Asda, Arla and Tesco, were found to have infringed the Competition Act 1998 when it was found that the supermarkets had indirectly coordinated increases in the prices that consumers were paying for certain dairy products.

Businesses could avoid such fines if they invest in a competition compliance programme and training. It is worth noting that Arla obtained 100% immunity from fines as they were the first to blow the whistle and apply to the OFT for leniency. If you have a compliance programme you will increase the opportunities for your business to avoid fines in the same way. Furthermore such programmes will lessen the risk of prison and director disqualification for your directors and employees.