Robert Wiseman Dairies has been referred to the Competition Commission over plans to buy the fresh milk business of Scottish Milk Dairies.

The Office of Fair Trading decided that the proposed £900,000 sale would create a relevant merger situation by lessening competition in the Glasgow area.

Vincent Smith, director of competition enforcement at the OFT, said:
‘This transaction would put the milk business of a rival dairy in and around Glasgow in the hands of Wiseman, the largest supplier of fresh milk in Scotland.

“As a result, middle ground customers in the area of overlap could face higher milk prices.”

The Commission has 24 weeks in which to reach a decision, although it can prolong the deadline by up to eight weeks if necessary.

A statement from Wiseman said that the board were disappointed by the referral and would consider the implications for the proposed purchase.

The cost of an investigation could make what is a relatively small purchase unviable.