The supermarket group was fined £10m last year for price fixing in 2002 and 2003 following an OFT investigation that began in 2004 and has cost millions of pounds. However, the Competition Appeal Tribunal on Wednesday rejected more than half of the OFT’s findings. It said there was “insufficient evidence” to conclude that Tesco was part of concerted effort to fix the price of cheese in 2003.
These sorts of things are always likely to happen when you have a single bureaucracy as the trio of investigator, judge and jury. As the OFT is in these sorts of cases. It’s only when you get to the next stage, where the roles are seaparated, that you’ve actually got an impartial study of the evidence.
Rather why we shouldn’t have just the one group taking all three roles really.
What’s even more fun about it is the background:
In a statement, Tesco said: “It is common ground that the industry faced unprecedented public pressure to increase the price received by farmers for their milk.”
Indeed: the pressure was to overturn the market outcome. For which everyone then got prosecuted.
the OFT has already been forced to scrap investigations into milk and butter pricing and make a £100,000 libel payout to Wm Morrison.