Case details

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Anticompetitive practices
Case reference
PRC/2017/11
Entities involved
  • Auchan Retail Portugal, S.A.
  • Cooplecnorte - Aquisição e Fornecimento de Bens e Serviços, C.R.L.
  • Modelo Continente - Hipermercados, S.A.
  • Pingo Doce - Distribuição Alimentar, SA
  • Unilever Fima, Lda.
Natural persons involved
No
Sector
Supply and Food Industry
Activity (NACE)
G47 - Retail trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles
Investigated practice
  • Horizontal agreement
  • Vertical agreement
Legal provisions
  • European-TFEU-Article 101
  • National-Law 19/2012-Article 9
Case origin
Ex-officio
Dawn raids
Yes
Cooperation with sector regulators
Status
Closed
AdC’s decision
Sanctioning decision
Settlement
No settlement.
Sanction imposed
  • Auchan Retail Portugal, S.A. - €16,190,000.00
  • Cooplecnorte - Aquisição e Fornecimento de Bens e Serviços, C.R.L. - €2,890,000.00
  • Modelo Continente - Hipermercados, S.A. - €50,780,000.00
  • Pingo Doce - Distribuição Alimentar, SA - €35,650,000.00
  • Unilever Fima, Lda. - €26,550,000.00
Summary of the case

From 2007 to 2017, the major food retailers (“Auchan”, “MCH”, "Cooplecnorte" and “Pingo Doce”) resorted to their vertical relation with the common supplier Unilever to horizontally promote the retail price fixing (hub-and-spoke agreement).

The practice comprised a cross-check mechanism of retail prices charged by the retailers as a mean to ensure price alignment, as well as the regular report to Unilever so that it would monitor and pressure for retail price readjustments whenever deviations were identified.

In November 2021, the AdC adopted the respective Statement of Objections, having given the opportunity to the affected parties to exercise their right to be heard and defence, which was duly assessed and considered in the final decision.

The AdC also carried out, during the preliminary investigation phase, complementary diligences of evidence requested by the targeted companies, whose results were also considered in the final decision.

Timeline
Judicial phase chronology - Interlocutory appeals
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