The move follows a provisional ruling last month from the Office of Fair Trading that the companies were guilty of price fixing in the Scottish middle-ground milk markets between 2000 and 2003. The firms have until the end of November to respond to the claims.
An Arla spokeswoman said the move was “purely a protective measure” because under Scottish law any claim had to be made within five years of the alleged offence.
Robert Wiseman Dairies said it would be vigorously contesting what it called a “frivolous” claim. “It seems the blame for Arla’s commercial failure in Scotland is being levied on the entire Scottish dairy industry,” said a spokesman.
Robert Graham, managing director of Graham’s Dairies, which is also named in the writ, said: “We have no intention of allowing our hard-won and precious family business to be tarnished as a result of this wrong-headed action.”