Catalogue retailer still protesting innocence after first appeal is quashed
The ruling against Argos and Littlewoods' appeal over the Office of Fair Trading's price fixing allegations has prompted disappointment from the plaintiffs. The Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) yesterday upheld the OFT's charge that the retailers were fixing prices on Hasbro toys.

The OFT said: 'Consumers suffered because the agreement kept prices artificially high. For example, with price fixing, a game of Monopoly costs£17.99 in the 2001 spring/summer catalogues of both companies. Thanks to competition law enforcement, the game is now sold for£13.99 by Argos and£13.49 by Littlewoods.'

However, GUS subsidiary Argos is still protesting its innocence. It has resolved to wait until it has assessed the impact of the ruling on its business before it reacts.

The retailer said: 'Argos vigorously maintains its innocence and is actively considering an appeal. The toy market in the UK is very price competitive and Argos prides itself on the great value of its toy offer.'

Littlewoods catalogue retailer Index also voiced its chagrin at the decision.

It said: 'Index does not believe it has infringed UK competition law and is surprised and disappointed by the decision. The company will now carefully study the judgement issued by the CAT and will explore all options available.'