Thailand's Commerce Ministry yesterday issued further guidelines to the large foreign retailers - including Tesco and Carrefour - that will prevent them from carrying out 'unfair practices'.
According to acting commerce minister Karun Kittisataporn, the new regulations - which come into force next week - will outlaw goods being priced at 'unfairly low' prices and prevent stores offering consumers 'too much discount'.
Any operator that is deemed to have broken the new rules will face a fine of up to Bt6 million (£84,000), a jail term for senior executives of up to three years - or both. If a company is found to be re-offending the penalties could be doubled.
Kittisataporn said: 'We have issued various guidelines and expect the retailers to follow.'
Officials from the Thai Commerce Ministry were scheduled to meet representatives of large retailers today.
Speaking in today's Times a Tesco spokesman said: 'We are talking to the government about this and will continue to do so. We are confident Tesco has brought a lot of benefit to Thai consumers.'
Tesco has nearly 300 shops in Thailand through its Tesco-Lotus division. Figures from Thailand's Commerce Ministry show that 400 superstores control 60 per cent of the kingdom's US$12 billion (£6.38 billion) retail sector.