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Multiple collusion: Allegations against big four

Britain’s big four supermarkets and dairies are being accused by the Office of Fair Trade of colluding to keep the price of dairy goods artificially high.
calendar icon 21 September 2007
clock icon 1 minute read
Asda, Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury's and processors including Dairy Crest and Arla are involved, the watchdog alleges.

It has written to Asda, Morrisons, Safeway, Sainsbury's and Tesco, as well as to leading dairy processors, setting out its findings, and is now awaiting their responses to the claims.

Peter Ainsworth, shadow secretary for rural affairs, said today: "The fact the Office of Fair Trade believes that the supermarkets have a case to answer will come as no surprise to diary farmers who have been struggling for years to make any money at all. Any suggestion that the retail price of milk was increased at the time to benefit farmers is nonsense. Over the period covered by the inquiry, retail prices increased but farm gate prices fell and supermarket margins rose."