OFT will feel increased pressure

FWD chairman Rodney Hunt, managing director of The Today’s Group, welcomed news of the APSSG’s concerns. He told ProWholesaler: “Every wholesaler will welcome this specific interest by MPs in our industry and we will do our utmost to help the APSSG to achieve its objectives.”

John Murphy said that one of the first actions by FWD once the report was published would be to repeat the FWD request for the OFT to compare prices obtained from suppliers by wholesalers with those extracted from suppliers by the giant multiples.
“FWD put an offer to the OFT two years ago. We said we would organise access to several wholesalers’ books so that OFT auditors could construct a comparison of wholesaler terms and superstore terms on like-for-like volumes.

“OFT declined the offer, but with the pressure of APSSG now with our lobby, we believe that OFT will be unable to deflect this idea again,” he added.

The group’s report will go to Downing Street, relevant government ministries and the OFT in April.

The OFT decision on a market reference to the Competition Commission is expected about the same time.

FWD will hold its annual conference at The Belfry on April 3-4 which is expected to coincide with the publication of the OFT and APSSG reports.

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