Wetherspoons is to lobby the Office of Fair Trading over claims that rival operators are trying to introduce pricing cartels. The row centres on moves to introduce "minimum pricing" where pubs, bars and nightclubs agree not to sell drinks below a certain price. Supports of the move, including nightclub chain Luminar, claim it will help stem binge-drinking and alcohol-related violence. Some regional police forces and councils are understood to be backing the concept. But Wetherspoons, known for its cheap beer, recently announced further price cuts to boost flagging sales after reporting a first profits dip in more than 10 years. Managing director John Hutson insisted that minimum pricing was not the answer to alcohol-related problems. He said it could force his company to increase beer prices by 40% and wine by 30%. The Independent on Sunday 12/09/04 (Business) page 4