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The CMA has summoned supermarket executives for formal interviews over fuel pricing

The competition watchdog is to question supermarket bosses after finding evidence that retailers have increased fuel prices to unnecessarily high levels, squeezing consumers who are hit by the cost of living crisis (The Guardian).

The Competition & Markets Authority said it had summoned supermarket executives for formal interviews after grocers failed to be “sufficiently forthcoming” in providing evidence that they were not squeezing consumers (Financial Times £).

Recent high fuel prices paid by drivers cannot be solely blamed on factors outside the control of the retailers, such as the war in Ukraine, which has caused an increase in wholesale prices, the Competition & Markets Authority said (Mail).

It noted that fuel on supermarket forecourts appeared to be about 5p per litre more expensive than would have been the case had the retailers’ average profit margins remained at 2019 levels (The Times £).

Some meat and vegetable lines at supermarkets have almost doubled in price over the past year, research has found, prompting fresh calls for the government to intervene as food industry figures gather for summit in Downing Street. Annual inflation on supermarket own-label budget items stepped up to 25% in April, according to the data from consumer group Which? (The Guardian).

UK retailers have been increasing the prices of their own label grocery ranges faster than those of branded goods, even as customers turn to such ranges, which are often marketed as “budget”, in the cost of living crisis. Private label goods have risen in price by 16.3% in the past 12 weeks, analysis by data group Circana revealed (Financial Times £).

Immigration and food prices must increase to solve the food crisis, ministers are to say at a summit. Rishi Sunak will be joined by ministers from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, as well as farmers and industry leaders, at the meeting at No 10 on Tuesday (The Guardian).

The owner of John Lewis and Waitrose has replaced its advertising partner of 14 years with Saatchi & Saatchi, the agency famous for its 1979 “Labour isn’t working” Conservative party election campaign (The Guardian).

The John Lewis Partnership, which also owns Waitrose, has hired Margaret Thatcher’s favourite ad agency to work on all its upcoming adverts, including its much anticipated Christmas advert (Telegraph).

The agency will take the lead on this year’s Christmas TV campaign and next year’s launch of a joint John Lewis and Waitrose loyalty card, as well as promotion of the group’s financial services (The Times £).

Krispy Kreme’s chief executive has hit back at UK restrictions on where unhealthy foods can be sold in stores, saying consumers can be “trained” to look for its doughnuts in different locations (Financial Times £).

British American Tobacco chief executive Jack Bowles has stepped down with immediate effect, three weeks after the London-listed company agreed to pay a $635m penalty over breaches of US sanctions on North Korea (Financial Times £).

Jack Bowles has been replaced by Tadeu Marroco, BAT’s group finance director, after just four years in the role, making him the shortest-serving boss of the three chief executives and one executive chairman the company has had since 1998 (The Times £).

The executive change comes at a time of transformation for the maker of Lucky Strike and Dunhill cigarettes, which is shifting its focus towards vaping products and e-cigarettes (Mail).

The Lex column in the Financial Times (£) says ‘Jack hits the road as vapes focus fails to ignite valuation.’

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has taken a $41.3m stake in the FTSE 100 maker of Johnnie Walker whisky and Tanqueray gin. The conglomerate’s investment in Diageo was revealed in a quarterly filing which disclosed its exposure to stocks as of 31 March (The Times £).

An ice cream parlour has been forced to rename a Percy Pig-inspired flavour after Marks & Spencer complained about the use of its brand (Telegraph).