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 retailer PLODINE d.d. EUR 30,000 for imposing unfair trading practices

The Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) fined PLODINE d.d. from Rijeka EUR 30,000 for the infringement of the Croatian Act on the prohibition of unfair trading practices in the business-to-business food supply chain (UTPs Act). The investigation showed that PLODINE used its strong bargaining power and imposed unfair trading practices on one of its suppliers of agri and food products.

The CCA opened ex officio infringement proceeding against the retailer of food and agri products PLODINE within the meaning of the UTPs Act with the view to establishing whether it used its strong bargaining power and imposed unfair trading practices on its supplier of agri and food products.

Concretely, the investigation found that in the period from 3 April 2018 to 27 December 2018 PLODINE did business with its supplier on the basis of a purchase agreement that did not clearly and explicitly state the place of delivery of agri or food products and the deliveries were carried out in two different locations that were not agreed under the contract. In the period from 4 August 2018 to 30 October 2018 PLODINE made payments to its supplier exceeding the period of 60 days form the day of the delivery of the agri or food product and exceeding the statutory deadline of 30 days for fresh agri and food products, which constituted an unfair trading practice under the UTPs Act.

Considering the gravity, the scope and the duration of the infringement, the consequences for the supplier, and a number of mitigating circumstances, the CCA decided to impose a fine in the amount of EUR 30,000.  The CCA found that the fine would have a deterrent effect not only on PLODINE but also on other actors in the food supply chain.

The integral decision of the CCA in the Croatian language can be found here