Tesco has vowed to battle the multimillion-pound fine it was handed yesterday by the Office of Fair Trading.

The UK’s largest supermarket was fined £10.4m as the competition watchdog’s long-running probe into price fixing in the dairy trade finally drew to a close.

But Tesco promised to “vigorously” contest the findings and could now take to the courts to have the penalty overturned.

“We are disheartened and disturbed that the OFT continues to pursue this costly and time-consuming case at the expense of both the taxpayer and UK business,” said corporate affairs director Lucy Neville-Rolfe.

“We have always said we did not collude on prices on cheese and we stand firm in our rebuttal of these ongoing allegations. We will continue to defend our position vigorously, through the courts if necessary.”

The fine was imposed after Tesco was found to have colluded with suppliers and other retailers to fix cheese prices in 2002 and 2003.

Read more
OFT’s marathon dairy probe climaxes with £50m fines (10 August 2011)