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 fines EUROTEX GLOBAL TRADE (formerly GLAVICE) HRK 50,000 for imposing unfair trading practices on sweetcorn suppliers

The Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) fined EUROTEX GLOBAL TRADE d.o.o. (formerly GLAVICE d.o.o.) HRK 50,000 for the infringement of the Croatian Act on the prohibition of unfair trading practices in the business-to-business food supply chain.

The Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) opened ex officio infringement proceeding against the sweetcorn buyer EUROTEX GLOBAL TRADE within the meaning of the Act on prohibition of unfair trading practices in the business-to-business food supply chain (UTPs Act) with the view to establishing whether this buyer used its strong bargaining power and imposed unfair trading practices on its sweetcorn suppliers.

The investigation showed that EUROTEX GLOBAL TRADE used its strong bargaining power and imposed several unfair practices on its sweetcorn suppliers in the purchase season of 2018.

Concretely, EUROTEX GLOBAL TRADE made business deals with its suppliers of sweetcorn based on standard purchase agreements that did not clearly define the price and/or provide the method for calculation or correction of the price, given the fact that the price defined under these SPAs was not in compliance with the provisions of the UTPs Act.

In addition, EUROTEX GLOBAL TRADE imposed unfair trading practices on four suppliers that lead to the reduction of payment to the prejudice of the suppliers and caused a non-transparent fall in the value of sweetcorn. What is more, EUROTEX GLOBAL TRADE failed to issue the invoice for the service concerned, which contravenes the tax rules under the UTPs Act.

Finally, the CCA found that EUROTEX GLOBAL TRADE made payments relating to 30 invoices/purchase orders in the period exceeding 30 days from the date of the receipt of the fresh product or the invoice date, which contravenes with the provisions of the UTPs Act.

Taking into account the gravity, the scope and the duration of the infringement concerned and the consequences for the suppliers, and a number of extenuating circumstances, EUROTEX GLOBAL TRADE was imposed a fine in the amount of HRK 50,000. The CCA found that the fine was proportionate to the infringement and that it will have a deterrent effect not only on EUROTEX GLOBAL TRADE but also on other actors in the food supply chain.

Besides the prohibition of any further behaviour constituting unfair trading practices the CCA also ordered EUROTEX GLOBAL TRADE to supply evidence on the paid difference of the unduly undervalued product plus the default interest.