The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), has been called on by the consumer body Which? to deal with the situations over confusing and misleading supermarket prices.
Despite Which? exposing the tactics several times, the offers still remain on supermarket shelves. The legal move, which is called a super-complaint, has now been launched meaning that the regualtor has to respond within 90 days.
Consumers could be buying products that they would not otherwise have bought if they were not on offer. According to the retail analysts Kantar Worldpanel, around 40% of food in Great Britain is currently sold on promotion.
Which? is one of five consumer bodies that has control over making a super-complaint and did so previously in 2011 and asked the regulator then, the Office of Fair Trading, to look into the excessive credit and debit card surcharges. They also made super-complaints on care homes, Northern Ireland Banking, private dentistry and the Scottish legal profession.
The first steps of the CMA could be that they request a market study and demand further information from the supermarkets before pushing into a full-blown investigation.