Too much messing about with computers, it said. No one is going to want to go shopping, come home and start faffing about with the internet to see if what they have already bought might have been cheaper elsewhere, it cried.

That, you remember, was Tesco delivering its stinging rebuke of Asda’s Price Guarantee – not its exact words but pretty much the gist of its arguments and why it branded the APG a gimmick. Now it is offering to refund double the difference if its customers find out that the goods they bought could have been purchased for less at Asda.

Of course, to get these refunds, shoppers need to go out, do their shopping, come home, turn on the computer and start faffing about on the internet.

And in a blatant attempt to undermine Asda’s assertion that it is 10% cheaper than its rivals, Tesco has also launched a fresh wave of price cuts. It claims to have slashed £200m from 1,000 everyday items.

When Andy Bond unveiled Asda’s original price guarantee last April, he pledged an end to “phoney price wars”, and when his successor Andy Clarke upped the ante with the 10% pledge, it was described by some as a game changer.

What today’s counterattack from Tesco shows is that the wars are anything but over. For Andy Bond and Sir Terry Leahy (who leaves Cheshunt tomorrow) substitute Andy Clarke and Richard Brasher. But apart from that, the game remains very much the same.

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