Supermarkets milked customers in price-fixing, say OFT
It might have happened eight years ago, but that hasn't stopped the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) slapping Sainsbury's, Tesco and ASDA with massive fines for price-fixing. According to the BBC, nine companies are receiving multi-million pound fines worth a total of up to £50m for colluding over the price of milk and cheese in 2002 and 2003.
In isolation it only cost individual consumers a couple of pence per time, say OFT; they estimate the price-fixing racket saw shoppers pay 2p more for a litre of milk and a similar amount extra on 100g of cheese. However, across all consumer spending OFT originally calculated that an extra £270 million ended up in the pockets of supermarkets and other retailers.
The likes of ASDA and Sainsbury's received leniency after admitting liability - there's no use crying over spilt milk, after all; Tesco are instead threatening OFT with legal action if the allegations and £10.4 million fine aren't dropped.