OFT drops allegations against Tesco in Dairy investigation

As part of its Dairy investigation, the OFT decided to drop certain allegations against Tesco and at the same time agreed a penalty discount after Tesco notified the OFT that it does not intend to contest the OFT’s provisional findings that it had breached competition law.

After considering detailed representations and new evidence from Tesco following the issue of the Statement of Objections in September 2007, and a supplementary Statement of Objections, the OFT had concluded that the evidence it now has on file is insufficient to support an infringement finding against Tesco with regard to three alleged dairy initiatives. These relate to liquid milk in 2002 and 2003 and value butter in 2003. The OFT did not receive any representations from Tesco relating to UK produced cheese in accordance with Tesco's non-contest stance.

On being notified by Tesco that it does not intend to contest the provisional OFT findings of a breach of competition law relating to the exchange of commercially sensitive information on certain cheese lines with two of its cheese suppliers in 2002 and one of its cheese suppliers in 2003, the OFT agreed a 10% discretionary penalty discount. The agreed discount is consistent with previous cases.