April 23, 2008
OFT pays out over milk pricing investigation
Morrisons accepts £100,000 over defamatory press release
The supermarket Morrisons has accepted £100,000 from the Office of Fair Trading after the regulator claimed that the supermarket had broken rules that apply to the market for dairy products and been warned over anti-competitive practices.
The OFT has apologised for the inaccuracies in its statement and clarified its position since publishing the press release in question.
Morrisons had been involved in investigations into market abuse regarding milk only and not diary products more generally, nor had it been warned by the OFT about anti-competitive practices. Other supermarkets had admitted market abuses in milk but Morrisons (as well as Tesco’s) had fought the OFT allegations. The statements made in the defamatory press release were premature, as representations from Morrisons were still being considered.
5RB‘s Desmond Browne QC advised the OFT.