Grocers Tesco and Morrisons will continue their battle with the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) over milk price-fixing allegations.
The two are the only companies still contesting the provisional findings of an OFT investigation into alleged collusion between dairy companies and retailers that artificially raised prices in 2002 and 2003.
Yesterday the OFT issued further evidence that it said supported its findings, but said: “At this stage, it should not be assumed that the law has been broken.” The OFT will “carefully consider any representations, and the evidence as a whole, before reaching any conclusion”.
Tesco director of corporate and legal affairs Lucy Neville-Rolfe said: “We have made it clear that we did not collude with anyone and that remains our position.”
Morrisons said: “It remains our firm belief that there are no reasonable grounds for the OFT’s allegations against us and no evidence to suggest our involvement.”
Asda, Sainsbury’s, Dairy Crest and Robert Wiseman Dairies have all settled with the OFT and were fined. Arla Foods escaped a fine after co-operating with the OFT.