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Buyer power and Dominance

Unilateral Practices

The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court finds that “wedding-rebates” requested by a food retailer from its suppliers are not abusive (EDEKA)
Commeo
In its judgement of 18 November 2015, the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court (“the Court”) quashed a decision of the Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) which stated that German food retailer EDEKA abused its dominant position by requesting preferential purchase conditions and bonus payments from sparkling (...)

The German Competition Authority decides that the wedding rebates constituted benefits without any objective justification resulting in abuse of dominance on the food retail market (EDEKA)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt takes decision of principle in food retail case - EDEKA’s demands on suppliers were abusive The Bundeskartellamt has issued a decision stating that the demands made by EDEKA Zentrale AG & Co.KG on suppliers after its takeover of the Plus stores in 2009 ("wedding rebates") (...)

The Canadian Competition Bureau supports the Government’s intention to address unjustified cross-border price discrimination to reduce the gap between consumer prices in Canada and the United States
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation (Vancouver)
New CD Howe Report on Canada/US Price Gap: Tariff and Supply Management Issues (Not Retailer Market Power)* Earlier on 6 May 2014, the C.D. Howe Institute issued a new report on the Canada/U.S. retail price gap issue entitled Sticker Shock: The Causes of the Canada-US Price Differential (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Authority institutes proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against supermarket chain for exploitative conduct (Coles Supermarkets)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC takes action against Coles for alleged unconscionable conduct towards its suppliers* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against Coles Supermarkets Australia Pty Ltd and Grocery Holdings Pty Ltd (together, (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council imposes fines for abusive practices in the food and drinks retail sector concerning return of goods (MAXIMA)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Competition council imposes a fine of 40 000 LTL on Maxima LT, UAB* On January 22, having established that the provisions set forth in MAXIMA LT, UAB (MAXIMA) supply agreements fail to comply with the requirements of the Law on the Prohibition of Unfair Practices of Retailers of the Republic (...)

The Czech Office for the Protection of Competition imposes fines for abuse of significant market power on the retail market for agricultural and food products (Kaufland)
BPV Braun Partners
Food Retailers in the Czech Republic, Be Aware!* The so-called Act on Significant Market Power for the Sale of Agricultural and Food Products and the Abuse thereof (No. 359/2009 Coll.) had effect from 1 February 2010. In October 2013, internal appeal procedures ended with the first significant (...)

The German Competition Authority issues a statement of objections against a dominant retailer for abusive practices against economically dependent suppliers on the market for sales of sparkling wine (EDEKA)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Statement of objections issued against EDEKA for use of "wedding rebates" after Plus takeover - Bundeskartellamt considers demands on suppliers as abusive* Bonn, 26 July 2013: According to the Bundeskartellamt’s preliminary assessment, EDEKA Zentrale AG & Co.KG, Hamburg, has violated the (...)

The German Competition Authority finds violation of the prohibition to grant certain benefits without any objective justification (EDEKA)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Statement of objections issued against EDEKA for use of "wedding rebates" after Plus takeover Bundeskartellamt considers demands on suppliers as abusive* According to the Bundeskartellamt’s preliminary assessment, EDEKA Zentrale AG & Co.KG, Hamburg, has violated the so-called "Anzapfverbot" (...)

The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority investigates the phenomena related to the use of buying power with questionnaires directed retailers and the food industry
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
An abridged English version of the Finnish Competition Authority’s study on the Trade in Groceries is now available* According to the FCA study on buying power in the trade in groceries, retailers use their firm position with respect to suppliers in several ways that may be considered (...)

The Latvian Competition Council imposes fines on a dominant undertaking for enforcing unfair trading conditions on a dependant wholesaler in the consumer goods and retail sector (Drogas)
Competition Council of Latvia
The Competition Council Fines Retail Chain for Abuse of its Market Power* On 14 December 2012, the Competition Council adopted a decision to fine AS Drogas which is the largest retail chain in the sector of health, beauty and household goods retail in Latvia. It was established that AS Drogas (...)

The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority concludes that contract practices and regulation put at disadvantage primary producers within the food supply chain
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority study: contract practices and regulation put primary producers in a difficult position in the food supply chain The position of primary producers in the food supply chain is made more difficult both by tight regulation and groceries trade and food (...)

The Supreme Court of Norway renders its first judgment interpreting Section 11 of the Norwegian Competition Act which forbids the abuse of a dominant position (Tine)
BA-HR
On 22 June 2011, the Norwegian Supreme Court rendered its first ever judgment interpreting Section 11 of the Norwegian Competition Act which forbids the abuse of a dominant position, a provision akin to Article 102 TFEU. The judgement ultimately vindicates dairy producer Tine AS («Tine«) for (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority fines two leading dairy food companies for abusing their dominant position on the raw milk market (Mlekara / Imlek)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 24 January 2011 the Serbian Competition Authority (KZK) fined the two leading dairy food companies Mlekara and Imlek (both controlled by Danube Foods Group BV) for the abuse of joint dominant position on the market for purchasing the raw milk from the dairy farms. For each of the two (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority finds no abuse of dominance in a situation of monopsony on the steel products market (Cost, Steron)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 22 December 2010 the Romanian Competition Authority (CC) completed its investigation into the possible abuse of dominance on the market for the cold drawn alloy steel bars manufactured by SC COST SA (COST). The CC’s investigation was prompted by a complained lodged by SC PCC STEROM SA (...)

The Latvian Competition Council fines retail chain for imposing unfair discounts on a milk processing company (Supernetto)
Competition Council of Latvia
The Competition Council Fines Retail Chain for Imposition of Unfair Discounts on Milk Processing Company* On 30 November 2010 the Competition Council (CC) adopted a decision to fine one of the largest retail chains in Latvia RIMI Latvia Ltd. for abuse of dominant position in retail trade. It (...)

The Latvian Parliament amends the Competition Act changing the merger notification procedure and redefining the concept of dominant position in the retail sector
Competition Council of Latvia
Amendments to the Competition Law* On 1 September 2009 entered into force Amendments to the Competition Law of the Republic of Latvia. Most substantial issue of the Amendments refer to the merger control. As from September 1 merger notifications have to be submitted not only by those market (...)

The Czech Chamber of Deputies votes a bill on abuse of economic dependence (Bill on significant market power and the abuse thereof)
Government of the Czech Republic
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
On 15 May 2009, the Czech Chamber of Deputies voted in favour of a bill “on significant market power and the abuse thereof”. According to the voted text, “where, due to the situation on the market, a supplier becomes dependent on the buyer with respect to the possibility to deliver its goods to (...)

The Austrian competition authority concludes general inquiry in the highly concentrated food distribution sector while highlighting indications of strong buyer power (Branchenuntersuchung Lebensmittelhandel)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
In June 2007, the Austrian competition authority (Bundeswettbewerbsbehörde; “BWB”) published its final report on a general inquiry conducted in respect of the Austrian food wholesale and retail distribution sector with special regard to the phenomenon of buying power (“Nachfragemacht”) exerted by (...)

The US Supreme Court recognizes a limited claim for predatory bidding (Weyerhaeuser)
Penn State University
,
University of Florida
Weyerhaeuser Co. v. Ross-Simmons Hardwood Lumber Co.: The U.S. Supreme Court Recognizes a Limited Claim for Predatory Bidding* Monopsony is the negative image of monopoly. Narrowly defined, it is the structural condition in which a well-specified good or service has only one buyer. But just (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal finds a pharmaceutical company guilty of margin squeeze but rejects the OFT’s evidence on bundling (Genzyme)
European Commission
Genzyme Limited ("Genzyme") is a pharmaceutical company which produces Cerezyme - the main drug for the treatment of Gaucher disease. The drug is taken by approximately 190 patients in the United Kingdom and is usually administered at home with the assistance of trained medical staff. Between (...)

The German Competition Authority lodges an appeal on points of law at the Federal Supreme Court against the decision of the Higher Regional Court Düsseldorf in proceedings on abuse of dominance in the retail sector (WalMart)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt files appeal on points of law in the WalMart case (sales below cost price)* The Bundeskartellamt has lodged an appeal on points of law at the Federal Supreme Court against the decision of the Higher Regional Court Düsseldorf in the WalMart abuse proceedings. On 1 September (...)

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