Prices of pub soft drinks get all-clear

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The Independent Online
THE GOVERNMENT yesterday expressed surprise at findings from the Office of Fair Trading that there were no competition problems with soft drinks pricing in pubs and restaurants.

John Bridgeman, Director General of Fair Trading, gave his conclusion in a letter to the Consumers Affairs minister, Dr Kim Howells, which said the level of complaints was very low. A spokeswoman for the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), which commissioned the OFT investigation last month, said: "We are surprised at the director general's findings."The government research, released in November, showed lemonade cost an average of pounds 3.59 a litre in a pub or restaurant, while a typical shop price was just 99p a litre.

But the director general did say he shared the minister's concerns over the visibility of price lists in pubs and bars. The DTI is amending the law on pub pricing which will require prices to be clearly displayed from March next year.

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