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Portugal Issues Statements Of Objections To Six Supermarkets & Two Drink Suppliers For Price Fixing

 |  July 5, 2020

The AdC – Portuguese Competition Authority issued Statements of Objections to 6 large food retail chain groups and 2 suppliers, one of non-alcoholic beverages and juices and the other one of wine and alcoholic drinks, for price fixing, a serious infringement of Competition Law.

The investigation conducted by the AdC revealed that Modelo Continente, Pingo Doce and Auchan used their commercial relationship with Sumol+Compal and Sogrape to align  the retail prices of most of the latter’s products, to the detriment of consumers.

In the case of non-alcoholic beverages and juices, the Statement of Objections also targets the Lidl distribution chain, while in the case of alcoholic drinks, the Intermarché and E-Leclerc chains are also involved. All the retailers concerned represent a large percentage of the distribution market in Portugal.

The Statements of Objections also includes two board members and two directors, one from each of the suppliers, Sumol+Compal and Sogrape.

If confirmed, the conduct in question is very serious. This is a new case of “hub-and-spoke”, a practice in which the large retail chains do not communicate directly with each other, but use bilateral contacts with the supplier to promote or guarantee through the latter that they all practice the same retail price in the market.

Full Content: Reuters

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