In his first business magazine interview since taking over as chief executive of the OFT in October, Fingleton defended the current two-market view of grocery retailing, as well as insisting that small retailers did “not have a right to be in the market just because they have been there historically”.
Fingleton, who is leading a six-month review of the OFT’s September decision not to refer the market to the Competition Commission, also claimed the OFT had been right not to rap Tesco for its attack on The Grocer Top 50 retailer Proudfoot in Withernsea with a 40%-off voucher scheme, arguing that consumers were ultimately getting a better deal.
Ian Proudfoot, joint MD of Proudfoot, said: “We are very insulted. What Tesco did in Withernsea was predatory and offset against massive profits.”
Steve Parfett, MD of wholesaler Parfetts, said: “The interview had me choking on my cornflakes and leaves me worried about Fingleton’s competence and his brief.”
David Rae, chief executive of the ACS, said: “It was worrying to see Fingleton state he needs to be convinced that there is a