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In the UK, the Sunday Telegraph reports that when the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) launched an investigation into price fixing by retailers and major CPG companies in the food and HBC segments, it was operating on information provided to it by Wal-Mart and its Asda Group chain there.

According to the story, "The investigation has embroiled some of the world's largest consumer goods manufacturers such as Unilever, Procter & Gamble and Reckitt Benckiser, as well as UK retail giants, including Tesco and J Sainsbury.

"In blowing the whistle, Wal-Mart, which owns the Asda chain, has guaranteed itself immunity from a fine should the OFT discover any cartel activity. Any company found guilty could be fined up to 10 per cent of its annual worldwide sales … The move is likely to make the US retailer deeply unpopular with the companies involved, many of whom are its largest suppliers."

The Telegraph emphasizes that the other retailers and CPG companies have denied that any price fixing took place.
KC's View:
Wal-Mart may end up being unpopular with some CPG companies, but it isn't likely to make any difference, since it also represents an enormous percentage of sales for these suppliers.