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Supermarkets on verge of dairies settlement

UK supermarkets are said to be on the verge of announcing a deal to end a long-running saga regarding suspected price-fixing of dairy products. It is believed that the Office of Fair Trading is ready to scrap various prosecutions in favour all of a long-term agreement between the parties to ensure there is no suspected price-fixing in the future.

While there is no doubt that the close relationship between dairy companies and the UK supermarket sector has come under more and more scrutiny over the years, there is very little in the way of concrete evidence which could be put before the courts. As a consequence, the Office of Fair Trading has effectively attempted broker an agreement which would leave no party accepting any liability or any admission of guilt. There is also no doubt that the Office of Fair Trading is cracking down harder and harder upon alleged cartels and we can expect further similar investigations in the future.

It has also been revealed that the Office of Fair Trading will reduce the proposed penalties for seven businesses which have already admitted guilt in an earlier price-fixing case. Initially fines totalling £116 million were to be dished out but this figure has now been reduced to £70 million.

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