Glanbia is to pay a fine to the UK competition authorities after a company it previously owned admitted engaging in anti-competitive practices in the UK dairy market.

The Office of Fair Trading had found evidence of collusion between certain large supermarkets and dairy processors, including The Cheese Company.

'Certain of these parties have now admitted involvement in anti-competitive practices and have agreed to pay individual penalties which, combined, come to a maximum of over £116m,' said the OFT.

Its provisional findings last September were that the collusion took place through the sharing of commercially sensitive information in 2002 and 2003. The Cheese Company was owned by Glanbia in this period, though it is now owned by Milk Link.

Glanbia said the maximum penalty it and The Cheese Company would pay was just over £2m (€2.8m). But it said it expected that the actual fine to be 'substantially lower'.