Milk processors Dairy Crest and Robert Wiseman Dairies are at the centre of an OFT probe into suspected price fixing.
It remains unclear whether the OFT is also questioning other dairies and major retailers. A spokeswoman refused to reveal the identity of any other companies involved.
She said: “We have reasonable grounds to suspect a breach of the Competition Act by agreements between a number of parties. But it cannot be assumed this will lead to an infringement decision. This is part of an ongoing investigation into various retail price initiatives during 2000-2003.”
Dairy Crest and Wiseman revealed they were under investigation in their interims, published this week. Dairy Crest’s pre-tax profit slumped by nearly a half to £17m on sales of £642m. Wiseman’s dropped 22% to £12m on a turnover of £281m. They blamed the falls on high oil prices and renegotiation of milk contracts with the multiples.