The alleged price collusion is estimated to have cost consumers £270 million ($539.5 million) in higher prices, the Office of Fair Trading said today. It named Asda, Morrisons, Safeway, Sainsbury’s and Tesco, as well as dairy processors Arla, Dairy Crest, Lactalis McLelland, The Cheese Company and Wiseman. The supermarkets denied the accusations this morning and said they would put up a “vigorous defense” against the consumer competition office’s claims. But, in a tough statement this morning, OFT director Sean Williams was highly critical of Britain’s big food retailers, saying it was a “very serious” case that cost consumers. (read full article)