How can unfair trading practices be challenged?

Workshop organised by Concurrences Review in partnership with Magenta with keynote speakers Pierre Rebeyrol (DGCCRF), Richard Panquiault (ILEC) and Béatrice Charlier-Bonatti (Cour d’Appel de Paris).

Richard Panquiault

French and European legislative considerations relating to unbalanced trade conditions focus mainly on the food sector, but it should be borne in mind that other consumer products are also concerned. The important issue of imbalance refers to the balance of power between the parties. Parallelism of forms between supplier and distributor in various sectors is widespread. The negotiating strength, the brand awareness of certain suppliers and their level of profitability are the main arguments put forward by the distributors. But the balance of power is not so simple in practice. One of the central questions in negotiations is who will crack first, as their interests are most at risk in the event of disagreement. If a manufacturer’s products are not on a supermarket shelf, even if it is Coca-Cola or Danone, the consumer will rarely change stores to find the product and will more often turn to a substitute product. This is why the manufacturer will be the first to crack in the majority of cases. The deflation of manufacturers’ selling prices to distributors is of the order of 15%. Media investment has fallen by 30% on average for ILEC members. The balance of power, given the evolution of the market, is systematically in favour of distribution.

Photos © Léo-Paul Ridet

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