Rod Addy The Office of Fair Trading revealed this week that Walkers may be investigated on the grounds of unfair market dominance. Snack Factory's acquisition of Golden Wonder and Walkers' acquisition of Golden Wonder's 150-strong van sales fleet and Wotsits brand were cleared by the OFT. However, in its August 2 verdict on Walkers' acquisition of Wotsits, the OFT said it had received a "substantial volume" of representations and allegations indirectly related to the deal. "Significant concerns have been expressed regarding Walkers' current trading practices, but these concerns do not arise as a result of this merger situation. "Indeed, the representations may be more relevant for possible investigation under the Chapter II prohibition of the Competition Act. "We will consider them accordingly and intend to pursue the issues with the companies concerned once a decision on the merger has been announced." An OFT spokeswoman said: "Some concerns were raised as a result of the merger with Wotsits. "If a breach of competition rules is determined to have taken place, an investigation will be launched." However, despite suggestions to the contrary from wholesalers, the OFT insisted an investigation had not yet been launched. Issues raised included claims that Walkers currently offered worse terms and prices than other manufacturers and that the addition of a new brand would only extend that effect. It was also alleged Walkers currently paid lump sums to retailers to separately locate competing brands or delist them. In Walkers' defence, it had explained to the OFT that it had transparent trading terms and conditions which it applied irrespective of the status of the customer. It also stressed it had no exclusive arrangements with any retailer, nor was it aware of any delisting inducements. {{NEWS }}