Tesco Ireland and Dunnes could be prosecuted if they are found to have breached the Groceries Order by selling babyfood at below cost.

Tesco and Dunnes both ran one-day promotions offering discounts of more than 50% on products including SMA Progress and Cow & Gate earlier this month. They have since been asked to supply the director of consumer affairs Carmel Foley with invoices showing the cost prices.

Foley’s office said both parties could face prosecution if they were found to have engaged in below cost selling, banned in the Irish Republic.

A spokesman said: “It is at the director’s discretion, but clearly with a one-day
promotion, it is pointless to get out a court injunction, so we have to look at other options.”

This is expected to take “weeks rather than months”.

Musgrave Group CEO Seamus Scally said the one day promotions were “quite unprecedented” and “clearly not funded by suppliers. We do not and will not engage in practices such as this.”

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