The Competition Tribunal analyzed a consultation by Asociación Gremial de Industrias Proveedoras A.G. (AGIP), accusing Supermercados Líder of refusal to sell to consumers, given that the defendant pulled Nestlé chocolates from its aisles as retaliation to the latter company’s refusal to participate in a promotion, programmed by D&S (Líder); regardless, the Supermarket included the Nestlé brand in its promotional pamphlets. The Tribunal stated that the described conduct was deemed against free competition, and warned the defendant that it must abstain of this kind of actions. The Tribunal did not sanction D&S because there was no formal lawsuit.
The Tribunal also analyzed a consult by AGIP, regarding certain conducts by supermarket chains, such as offering private labels, to the detriment of industry brands, sale of products below cost, and unilateral changes to suppliers’ sales conditions.
In this regard, the Tribunal stated that the Supermarket chains relevant to this case (D&S and Jumbo) must abstain from performing conducts and actions that imply an ex post and unilateral alterations of prices and any other previously agreed upon sale conditions with suppliers. They also must establish sale conditions with their suppliers in an objective and non discriminatory fashion, informing them of these conditions.
Both supermarket chains, and their related persons, must consult to this Tribunal, before any negotiation, operation, pact, joint action agreement, act or contract that implies a direct or indirect integration with, merger with or acquisition of companies in the same market. This last measure was deemed null by the May 26, 2005 ruling by the Supreme Court.
D&S was warned that, in the future, it must abstain from engaging in conducts such as those described in the Competition Tribunal’s ruling.