The Competition Council – RON 154m fines for 25 companies trading agri-food goods

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Selgros, Mega Image and Tymbark announced they would challenge in court the CC fines.

The Competition Council (CC) has decided to fine 25 companies trading agri-food goods, i.e. 4 retailers and 21 suppliers, the fines amounting to RON 154,029,538 (approx. EUR 35 million), the highest sanction being given to Mega Image SRL – RON 24,569,530 lei, a CC release informs.

The penalties were set following the investigation focused on price fixing for the retailers: Metro, Real, Selgros, Mega Image and their suppliers, for the 2005-2009 interval. The investigation penalises the infringing of the competition law for fixing the selling prices as well as for the companies’ promotions.

The CC release reads that ‘the council has found out that the selling prices were not set according to the market rules, by the offer-demand ratio, but by the supplier and the retailer which had set the minimum and the maximum price. This commercial behaviour leads to higher costs for the final consumer due to the fact that the retailer is not able to cut the price below the limit agreed upon with the supplier,’

During promotions the contracts between the retailer and the suppliers included a clause reading that, in that very period, the suppliers were not supposed to carry on similar promotions in various retail chains, they were able just to move from one retailer to another. The final consumer did not have access to promotional goods at the lowest price in competing stores. The decision to carry on or not promotional campaigns in competing stores belongs to the supplier.

The penalised companies are: Mega Image SRL — RON 24,569,530 (EUR 5.6 million), Metro Cash&Carry Romania SRL – RON 49,684,182 (EUR 11.3 million), Real Hypermarket Romania SRL – RON 23,869,142 (EUR 5.5 million), Selgros Cash&Carry Romania SRL – RON 29,202,355 (EUR 6.6 million), Agroalim Distribution SRL – RON 607.214 (EUR 138,000), Albalact SA – RON 2,199,507 (EUR 499,888), Argus SA – RON 623.106 (EUR 141.615), Covalact SA — RON 659,267 (EUR 149,833), Cramele Halewood SA — RON 278.694 (EUR 63,340), Danone PDPA SRL — RON 2,639,243 (EUR 599,828), De Silva Intermed SRL — RON 31,753 (EUR 7,217), Delaco Distribution SA — RON 910,047 (EUR 206,829), Gerola Prodinvest SRL — RON 308,923 (EUR 70,210), Granddis SRL — RON 327,157 (EUR 74,354), Impex Bock SRL — RON 5,751 (EUR 1,307), Macromex SRL — RON 2,354,190 (EUR 535,043), Napolact SA — RON 1,164,467 (EUR 264,652), Parmalat Romania SA — RON 269,852 (EUR 61,330), Prodlacta SA — RON 166,122 (EUR 37,755), Quadrant-Amroq Beverages SRL — RON 3,193,541 (EUR 725,805), Star Foods EM SRL — RON 1,953,160 (EUR 443,900), Transilvania General Import Export SRL — RON 4,693,436 (EUR 1.1 million), Tymbark Maspex Romania SRL — RON 1,646,923 (EUR 374,301), Whiteland Import Export SRL — RON 2,324,484 (EUR 528,292) and Zarea SA — RON 347,489 (EUR 78,975).

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