Britain's Tesco, competition watchdog settle price-fixing probe

Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:22pm EST

Feb 26 (Reuters) - Tesco Plc, Britain's biggest retailer, will pay a reduced 6.5 million pound penalty to the UK's competition watchdog, after the parties reached a settlement on a price-fixing probe.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) in 2011 had concluded that Tesco participated in fixing the retail price of cheese in 2002 and 2003, and it originally fined the company 10.4 million pounds ($15.7 million).

Tesco had appealed the decision at the Competition Appeal Tribunal.

In a statement on its website, the OFT said the appeals tribunal upheld its findings that Tesco broke competition law three times by coordinating increases in the prices consumers paid for cheese in 2002.

The appeal tribunal dismissed all other OFT findings against Tesco.

"Tesco is pleased that it has today settled the dairy competition appeal with the OFT," the company said on its website.

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