British supermarket giant Tesco has found itself at the centre of an investigation by fair trading officials from the Dublin government over allegations that the retailer is running a mock price war in the Republic of Ireland. The damning report, compiled by research group RG Data on behalf of Irish sector rivals, claims that while Tesco reduced prices in a well-publicised “price offensive” in January, the affected goods have since increased in price by an average of 18%.

Tesco strongly denied the accusations, branding the report as “selective and misleading.” The company’s own figures from its 75 Irish stores point to a 20% reduction in prices since the promotions were launched.

Whatever the outcome, the investigation can only add to the deteriorating relations between the company and its 9,500 staff members, who have threatened to stage a walkout over pay. Tesco currently rates as one of the worst payers in the Irish retail sector, and staff have branded the proposed basic pay rise from £4.85 to £5.14 per hour as “unacceptable.”