19 July 2016

Competition law experts from Burges Salmon have advised Somerfield Stores Limited on a successful appeal in the Court of Appeal, against the Competition and Markets Authority, to recover the fine imposed on Somerfield following the Office of Fair Trading's (OFT) Tobacco Investigation (approximately £4 million).

During that investigation, Somerfield, amongst others, had entered into an early resolution agreement under which it accepted the OFT's infringement finding in return for a reduced fine. The OFT gave an assurance to one of the other companies (TM Retail), which had also entered into an early resolution agreement, that TM Retail would get the benefit of any successful third party appeal.    

Following a successful appeal of the OFT’s Tobacco Decision, the OFT refused to repay Somerfield a sum equal to the penalty it had paid despite having repaid TM Retail. Somerfield sought judicial review of the OFT’s decision.

The Court of Appeal found that the OFT’s refusal to pay Somerfield on the same basis as TM Retail breached the principle of equal treatment and was unfair.


Key contact

Chris Worrall

Chris Worrall Partner

  • Head of Competition
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Financial Services

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