Thursday, September 25, 2008

More on price-fixing: this time in UK

Britain's Office of Fair Trading is investigating the grocery industry on possible price-fixing. The allegation is that pricing information might have been transmitted through vendors (one of the things that makes some folks nervous about collaboration and category captains.
Heavy fines may be imposed on grocers and suppliers after the Office of Fair Trading uncovered evidence that pricing information may have been shared.

The competition watchdog said in a letter that there were "reasonable grounds to suspect" that pricing data was passed between supermarkets via suppliers, the Financial Times reported.
Heavy fines, indeed -- potentially up to 10% of sales.

Retailers being investigated may include Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, and Tesco (who are pretty much the entire UK grocery market). Manufacturers: Unilever, Mars, P&G, Coca-Cola.

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