The UK’s Office of Fair Trading has provisionally found that six Scottish dairies – Robert Wiseman, Ballantyne, Grahams, Quothquan, Renfrew and Scottish Milk Dairies – entered into an agreement to fix the price of milk in breach of competition law between 2000 and 2003.
The UK competition watchdog found that the dairies shared pricing information, coordinated a series of price increases and colluded over arrangements not to compete for each others’ customers.
Price fixing and market sharing are both infringe Chapter I of the Competition Act 1998.
The alleged market abuses relate to ‘middle ground’ customers, namely schools, shops, cafes and hotels, but exclude the big supermarkets and doorstep customers.
The dairies now have an opportunity to respond to the accusations. The OFT will consider these responses before making a final decision as to whether the dairies acted illegally and determining what, if any, penalties will be imposed.