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Business

Tesco, Unilever settle price row

The UK's largest retailer, Tesco, and Anglo-Dutch giant Unilever have buried the hatchet after a fierce price dispute. It had been caused by the plunge in the British pound after the UK's vote to leave the EU.

Both Tesco and Unilever confirmed Thursday they'd settled their pricing row caused by sterling's freefall after the UK's pro-Brexit vote.

"We're pleased the situation has been resolved to our satisfaction," a Tesco spokesman commented, with Unilever adding the supply situation in Britain and Ireland had been successfully resolved. No details were given as to what the settlement looked like.

Products such as Persil washing powder, Ben & Jerry's ice cream and Marmite yeast-extract spread had earlier been unavailable on Tesco's online site as the pound's fall against the greenback and the euro had left suppliers and retailers battling for profits after imported goods became more expensive in the UK.

More to come?

"While politicians can deny reality, a shampoo produced on the Continent is now 17 percent more expensive," former Tesco executive Bruno Monteyne said in a statement. "This isn't about Tesco or Unilever, but about all UK retailers and suppliers."

Wes Streeting, a lawmaker from the opposition Labour Party, who had backed the Remain campaign in the run-up to the June 23 referendum, sees more trouble ahead.

"If people are worried about losing Marmite from Tesco, wait until they find out about jobs," he said.

The standoff between Tesco and Unilever dominated the news in Britain on Thursday, with "Marmitegate" trending on Twitter. The "Daily Mail" dubbed it "Brexit Blackmail."

hg/jd (Reuters, dpa)

 

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