Sainsbury’s share price: Company wins judicial review in Tesco ‘Price Promise’ battle

on Mar 24, 2014
Updated: Apr 9, 2020
Listen, Monday, March 24: J Sainsbury (LON:SBRY) has won the right to a judicial review in its fight against rival Tesco’s (LON:TSCO) ‘Price Promise’ campaign.

The supermarket chain is appealing a ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) from last July, which permits Tesco to offer customers vouchers if their comparable shopping is cheaper at a rival store. Sainsbury’s had argued that ‘Price Promise’ did not feature like-for-like products in terms of “quality, provenance and ethics”.
In October, the ASA and an independent reviewer rejected Sainsbury’s complaint, ruling that the products met the same consumer need despite a difference in origin and ethics. But following a review of evidence, the High Court has now ruled that Sainsbury’s is entitled to a judicial review, the company announced yesterday.

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“It is sufficiently arguable that there was an error of law in the ASA’s approach to the matching of items for comparison, which the reviewer failed to identify,” the Court ruled.
Sainsbury’s commercial director Mike Coupe commented on the development: “We are delighted the judicial review will go ahead. We do not believe it is fair to compare own-label products of different supermarkets.”

A Tesco spokesman was quoted by The Telegraph as saying: “Now that permission for the judicial review has been granted, we will robustly defend the way we make fair comparisons between products based on what matters to customers, which has already been approved by the ASA and the independent reviewer.”
The case will now proceed to a formal hearing in approximately six months’ time, Sainsbury’s noted in its statement yesterday.

**Supermarket price war heats up**
Earlier this month, Tesco triggered an industry price war, cutting the price of milk (Morrisons share price: Grocer triggers industry price war).

Retail mogul Sir Philip Green is reportedly about to ramp up the pressure on Britain’s ‘big four’ grocers — which also include Walmart-owned Asda — by plunging into the supermarket price war.

The billionaire businessman, who owns a raft of high street clothes shops including Topshop, told The Sunday Times yesterday that he plans to undercut rivals with the start of food sales at BHS department stores.
Green was quoted by the newspaper as saying: “We know what we’re going into — the most competitive food landscape for some time. On the basis that everyone is going into the high street and convenience, maybe it’s an opportunity. If you don’t buy a ticket, you can’t win the lottery.”
**Stock movements**
FTSE 100-listed supermarkets have traded higher so far today. As of 10:37 UTC, Saisnbury’s share price was 0.21 percent better off, while Tesco led the sector’s gains with a 1.25 percent increase. Morrisons has also advanced, up 0.73 percent intraday.
**As of 10:24 UTC, buy Sainsbury’s shares at 310.20p.**
**As of 10:24 UTC, sell Sainsbury’s shares at 310.00p.**
**As of 10:25 UTC, buy Tesco shares at 294.15p.**
**As of 10:25 UTC, sell Tesco shares at 293.95p.**
**As of 10:26 UTC, buy Morriosns shares at 212.90p.**
**As of 10:26 UTC, sell Morrisons shares at 212.80p.**


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