// Lidl has called for a review of a February 2018 survey, which was on behalf of rival Aldi and had concluded that it was cheaper than Lidl
// Lidl said the survey was “skewed” and had “fundamental flaws”
// The survey found that Aldi was cheaper than Lidl, Tesco, Dunnes Stores and SuperValu
Lidl has reportedly called for a judicial review against Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI) after the regulatory body did not uphold a complaint against auditor Grant Thornton.
The German discounter said that a February 2018 survey by the accountancy firm on behalf of rival Aldi, which concluded it was cheaper than Lidl, was “skewed” and had “fundamental flaws”, The Sunday Times reported.
The survey found that Aldi was cheaper than Tesco, Dunnes Stores and SuperValu when comparing a basket of 62 own-brand products in five stores.
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It also said that Aldi was cheaper than Lidl by 49 cents, which Lidl has argued against.
The basket of 62 items included rice, cheese, bread, jam and yoghurt.
The cost was €65.04 (£57.13) in Aldi, €65.53 (£57.56) in Lidl, €76.54 (£67.24) in Tesco, €80.74 (£70.92) in Dunnes Stores and €95.50 (£83.89) in SuperValu.
In April 2018, Lidl complained to the CAI over Grant Thornton’s methodology and said it “skewed the findings of the survey directly in favour of the commissioning party”.
A conduct committee of the CAI decided there were “weaknesses in the methodology but concluded that the flaws exposed would not amount to poor professional performance”.
Meanwhile, Lidl requested an independent review.
Lidl claimed the independent review committee of the CAI found Grant Thornton had “not compared like with like, had employed flawed methodology to the benefit of their client and that the findings of the conduct committee were unsafe”.
After Grant Thornton had expanded on its methodology, the CAI committee concluded it was not guilty of poor professional performance.
In its application for a judicial review, Lidl said it had not been provided with a copy of the new information from Grant Thornton.
It wants the decision of the independent review committee, dated March 19, to be quashed by the High Court.
It also claims the committee acted in breach of fair procedures by not seeking comment from Lidl on the new information from Grant Thornton.
Lidl is now seeking a fresh hearing of the CAI and a declaration stating that the committee “breached fundamental fairness”.