The Office of Fair Trading has concluded that it has insufficient evidence to support an infringement in its dairy investigation in regard to liquid milk in 2002 and value butter in 2003.

As a result, the individual penalties that a number of early resolution parties had agreed to pay will be reduced. Also, as the only allegation against Morrisons related to liquid milk in 2002, Morrisons is now no longer part of the Dairy investigation.

In 2007 and 2008, the OFT concluded early resolution agreements with a number of parties who accepted liability in principle for a breach of competition law in relation to one or more of liquid milk, value butter and UK produced cheese in 2002 and or 2003.

The OFT expects to conclude and issue its decision by early summer 2010.

Separately, the OFT has decided to drop certain allegations against Tesco as part of its Dairy investigation.

The OFT concluded that the evidence it now has on file is “insufficient to support an infringement finding against Tesco” in relation to three alleged dairy initiatives, relating to liquid milk in 2002 and 2003 and value butter in 2003.The move came after it considered detailed representations and new evidence from Tesco.