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Ice Cream (Inquiry)

Volume 281: debated on Tuesday 16 July 1996

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To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on the evidence submitted by Birds Eye Wall's to a Monopolies and Mergers Commission inquiry following the undertaking given to the hon. Member for Dagenham (Ms Church) on 17 April, Official Report, column 527. [37966]

The Director General of Fair Trading, at the request of my predecessor, the hon. Member for Tatton (Mr. Hamilton) carried out an investigation into whether, during an inquiry conducted by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission in 1993–94 into the supply of ice cream for immediate consumption in the United Kingdom, Birds Eye Wall's had supplied false or misleading information to the commission. The supply of such false or misleading information is an offence contrary to section 93B of the Fair Trading Act 1973.Having considered the director general's report, and departmental and other independent legal advice, against the criteria set out in the code for crown prosecutors, I have concluded that my Department should not take any further action in this matter.