Your article ‘OFT forced to pay costs on Pernod’s Bacardi row’ (9 May) contained errors, including:
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) was not ordered to pay the bulk or 75 per cent of Pernod’s costs. Only on the issue of admissibility was the order for 75 per cent. In total the OFT was only ordered to pay just over a third of Pernod’s costs up to June 2004 and no costs beyond that date.
Pernod did not challenge the OFT’s ability to accept voluntary undertakings in the absence of consultation with the complainants.
The tribunal’s “preliminary ruling” does not say all complainants will have the right to be consulted on assurances or that all complainants will be entitled to a copy of the OFT Statement of Objections.
The article also claims that it was a highly unusual ruling – there is nothing unusual in one party to litigation being ordered to pay part of the costs of the other party.
The changes to the assurances were voluntarily offered by Bacardi to bring matters to a close. No hearing date had been set for the case.
Mark Kram, head of news, OFT