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Craig Murphy
off your trolley

Now Tesco is being put under the spotlight for squeezing suppliers

It’s the third investigation launched into the supermarket chain since September.

TESCO WILL BE put under the microscope by the UK’s new grocery regulator in the latest investigation to stem from the supermarket giant’s massive profit overestimates.

The country’s Grocery Code Adjudicator (GCA) said it was launching a probe into the grocery chain because it had “reasonable suspicion” the company had broken guidelines.

The investigation will focus on the troubled retailer’s relationship with suppliers and will look at whether the company demanded payment in return for better positions on its supermarkets’ shelves.

The GCA will also look at delayed supplier payments linked to penalties for short deliveries and other problems.

Adjudicator Christine Tacon said she had evidence the practices were “not isolated incidents” and they had each involved “a number of suppliers and significant sums of money”.

Third investigation launched

The GCA said the latest investigation stemmed from information that emerged after Tesco overstated its profits by some £263 million (€352 million).

That scandal, which emerged in September, has already triggered investigations from the UK Serious Fraud Office and the country’s Financial Conduct Authority.

Tesco’s chairman has since announced plans to step down and the company took a razor to its costs, closing 43 UK stores and dropping plans to build another 49 outlets.

The company told the BBC it had been working with the GCA and had shared information with the regulator after an internal review, as well as changing how it worked with suppliers.

READ: Do we really live on a ‘treasure island’ for the big supermarket chains? >

READ: Tesco, SuperValu and Boots stores slapped on the wrist for overcharging >

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