The aim of the protection of market competition is primarily to create benefits for consumers and equal conditions for all entrepreneurs on the market, who, acting in accordance with the existing rules and competing on the market with the quality, price and innovation of their products and services, contribute to the overall development of the economy.

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CCA launches Sector inquiry into vertical relations between suppliers and retailers in the food and non-food supply chain in the Republic of Croatia

The Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) starts to investigate into the vertical relations between suppliers and retailers in the food and non-food supply chain in the Republic of Croatia, primarily focusing on the relationship between primary producers, distributors, and retailers.

The CCA plans to conduct this sector inquiry during 2024 and, upon its completion, publish the results of the inquiry on its website.

The aim of the investigation is, among other things, to identify the following facts and circumstances:

  • contractual relationship in vertical supply chain between primary producers, distributors, and retailers of food and non-food products, particularly in terms of financial and commercial terms of business,
  • general business terms, i.e., general terms of purchase and/or sale of retailers and suppliers,
  • provisions applied in determining the price of goods and margins by primary producers, distributors, and retailers,
  • market power of individual suppliers of food and non-food products,
  • other facts in vertical relations between primary producers, distributors and retailers with the view to gaining better understanding of the market situation.

The investigation will help CCA to identify whether there are any “market imperfections” in that vertical supply chain that would point at any anti-competitive behaviour within the meaning of competition rules and significant market power of undertakings.

In the context of the aforementioned investigation, it is necessary to make reference to the powers of the CCA, particularly bearing in mind that the CCA is not a price regulator. In other words, high prices of goods or high margins do not per se constitute an infringement of competition rules. However, if the CCA finds any indications of likely anti-competitive behaviour or abuse of dominance by an undertaking/s in the market, the CCA can initiate administrative proceeding against the undertaking/s concerned.

This type of market inquiry should by its nature be clearly distinguished from the separate regular annual retail groceries’ market study (market research in food, beverages, toiletries and household supplies) in the Republic of Croatia that has been carried out by the CCA for many years now and that will also be continued in the future. At the same time, this market inquiry should also be separated from the cases that are handled by the CCA pursuant to the rules on the prohibition of unfair trading practices in the food supply chain.

The CCA calls for the delivery of data and information from all undertakings active in the food and non-food vertical supply chain, professional associations, employers’ associations, consumer protection associations, and other legal or natural persons who may have any information that is relevant for the market inquiry concerned and that can contribute to understanding of the market situation.

Any data and information can be communicated to the CCA using the e-mail address of the CCA Registry Office:

by referencing the business number CLASS: 034-01/24-03/001