Groceries watchdog grills Tesco over supplier Dunnhumby

Helen Cahill
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The supermarket today finalised a £129m settlement with the SFO (Source: Getty)

The groceries watchdog has grilled Tesco over accusations that Dunnhumby, the firm behind its Clubcard scheme, is tapping into the supermarket's buying power unfairly.

Christine Tacon, the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA), sat down with the UK's largest supermarket to discuss the claims about Dunnhumby's treatment of suppliers.

Some suppliers have claimed that it is hard not to use Dunnhumby if they supply goods to Tesco, and that the firm is charging over the odds for access to data on Tesco shoppers.

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Tacon has not taken any action on the issue as yet, but a spokesperson for the GCA said she is considering the case.

The GCA is responsible for overseeing the supermarkets and their dealings with suppliers.

Tesco was slapped on the wrist by the watchdog last year for how it treated its suppliers in the run-up to its accounting scandal in 2014. However, since then there has been a "sea change" in how the supermarket operates, the GCA spokesperson said.

The supermarket will be hoping to draw a line under its accounting scandal, after the High Court approved a settlement between Tesco and the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) today.

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The settlement, which involves a £129m fine for Tesco, was approved by Sir Brian Leveson.

Under the so-called deferred prosecution agreement (DPA), Tesco can suspend the prosecution in exchange for meeting certain conditions.

The DPA does not necessitate an acceptance of wrongdoing by Tesco.

Tesco declined to comment.

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