Supermarket price-fixing probe dropped by UK regulator
The UK’s antitrust regulator dropped a two-year probe into allegations of price-fixing between supermarkets and suppliers.
The investigation, started in April 2008 after unnamed whistleblowers came forward seeking leniency, doesn’t meet the Office of Fair Trading’s “administrative priorities,” the watchdog said on its website, without elaborating.
Tesco and Sainsburys were among supermarkets raided by the OFT during the probe, the Daily Telegraph reported, without saying where it got the information.
“The OFT considered the future of the investigation in light of its prioritisation principles and concluded that it was appropriate to close the investigation,” the regulator said.
The OFT didn’t name the companies involved at any time during the investigation.
In April 2008, Asda said it was visited by OFT officials, while Unilever said it had received a letter from the regulator regarding an investigation.
OFT spokesman Jonathan Marciano today declined to comment on the probe or why it was closed.
Unilever spokesman Flip Dotsch didn’t immediately return calls from Bloomberg News.
Asda declined to comment. Calls to Sainsbury spokesman Tom Parker and spokespeople at Tesco weren’t immediately returned.