idl Ireland asserts that the methodology used in the survey, conducted by accountant Grant Thornton (GT), is flawed.
It made a formal complaint to Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI), the regulator for chartered accounting, arguing that GT had no case to answer.
Mr. Justice Cian Ferriter ruled the decision should be set aside and the complaint should be sent back for a review by a newly created CAI committee.
He said the commission violated a requirement to give reasons why Grant Thornton had no cases to respond to. However, the court did not accept that the CAI and the commission acted in violation of fair procedures.
The court heard that Aldi authorized Grant Thornton to conduct the survey in February 2018.
Results published in the media said that, on average, Aldi is cheaper.
The survey compared an average shopping cart containing 62 items at Aldi, Lidl, Tesco, SuperValu and Dunnes Stores.
Lidl claims the survey does not compare likes with likes in some cases. Lidl also claims Aldi prices are not “in-store” prices but come from a master listing.
Lidl claims the survey results have raised questions about the independence, objectivity and integrity of Grant Thornton, who has denied the claims and contested the complaint to the CAI committee.
The committee concluded that, despite the methodological weaknesses, the survey did not reveal the poor professional performance of Grant Thornton.
However, an independent review of the committee’s decision found there is evidence that the price survey has not been compared with the likes, it has been claimed.
After review, the matter was sent back to the CAI committee for further review and it was determined that Grant Thornton had no cases to respond to.
Lidl has brought judicial proceedings by the Supreme Court against both CAI and the CAI Independent Review Committee.
The action is contested on grounds that include the court’s decision that the objection is irrevocable for reconsideration, that there was no violation of fair procedures, that Lidl was incompetent to challenge, and No reason was given for the decision.
https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/lidl-wins-court-challenge-over-aldi-grocery-price-survey-41425226.html Lidl wins court in Aldi . grocery price survey